By now, you’ve heard the news: 69-year-old artist Paul McCarthy was attacked in Paris yesterday while installing “Tree,” a giant inflatable butt plug at Place Vendôme. The piece is part of FIAC’s “Hors Les Murs” program and was evidently an offense to an unknown assailant because it does not belong at the Place Vendôme—and because McCarthy is not French. News that the sculpture’s title did not match its function has been the subject of much press giggling.
McCarthy’s inflatables have increasingly made headlines over the years. A giant poop inflatable popped in Hong Kong last year. And in 2008, his sculpture “Complex Shit” “cast loose its moorings and was lifted by a sudden gust of wind from the Paul Klee centre in Berne and carried 200 yards to eventually make landfall in the grounds of a children’s home.”
Thankfully, this latest kerfuffle did not involve any children.