Paul McCarthy

1945

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Status, price and estimate by artist Paul McCarthy

Price of a sculpture: 650 – 2 900,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 3 900 – 90,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 100 – 5 700 €.

Price of a photograph: 80 – 45 500 €.

Price of a painting: 500 – 144 600 €.

If you would like to have a work by Paul McCarthy appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Paul McCarthy’s career path

McCarthy is an American artist born in 1945 in Salt Lake City. He was long perceived as a flamboyant, marginal young artist, but this status was reversed, notably during a major retrospective of his work organised in New York in 2001. His creative work began in the early 1960s and constitutes a comprehensive work on the scale of his career. His work is not without similarities to the West Coast artists of the time. He does not seek “art for art’s sake” like many artists in American abstract painting, but, on the contrary, has inked his work into the society in which he is embedded.

From the brush to the skin

However, some of his works have important points in common with Abstract Expressionist artists such as Jackson Pollock. The power and importance of the latter’s gesture, as seen in his dripping and brushwork immortalized in Hans Namuth’s 1950 photographs, is also reflected in McCarthy’s use of pictorial matter in some of his performances such as Whipping a Wall with Paint (1974).

Inspired by performances by artists such as Bruce Nauman or Vito Acconci, he began to instrumentalise his body in the 1970s, making his own materiality a component of the work. He first tested the resistance of his body and then theatricalized his work by attempting to “radiograph” the culture, essentially consumerist, of the United States.

Criticism of American consumerism

Thanks to California, which is a very concentrated sample of this culture, McCarthy is tackling its mythology, its TV and film industry, its food and all kinds of stereotypes, including that of the American dream and the deviances it can engender.

The work of the artist, very often situated in exaggeration, burlesque and wilful bad taste, provokes a malaise that persists if one does not detect its second degree. Americans are infantilized and integrated into a constantly dysfunctional or sexually depraved system, and references to the anal stage are legion.

He challenges the image of the family and the idols of pop culture (Family Tyranny, 1987. Pinocchio Pipenose Household Dilemma 1994.) especially those of childhood, which he considers to be morally corrupt, as he shows with his 2007 intervention in the Maccarone Gallery with Peter Paul Chocolates.

In addition to his performances and video installations, McCarthy has also created sculptures and drawings with the same purpose as the rest of his work.

Appraising and selling a sculpture by Paul McCarthy

If you own a sculpture or any other drawing by Paul McCarthy, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your sculpture. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.

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