Born 1945, Salt Lake City, Utah
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Year created:
Paul McCarthy, Sisters, 2013

Paul McCarthy, Sisters, 2013. Bronze, 240 x 192 x 480 inches.
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, © Paul McCarthy.Photograph by Anchor Imagery.

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240 x 192 x 480 inches

Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Installation support has been provided by those who generously raised their paddles at deCordova’s Party for the Park 2014.
Exhibit Date: 
On View Jun 03, 2014 - May 11, 2015

No longer on view.

Sisters is one of many works in which Paul McCarthy explores the Snow White fairytale. The imposing bronze sculpture features two renditions of Snow White and her animal friends and is reminiscent of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein. The two Snow White heads and the stream of unruly debris beneath them are imbued with psychosocial dualities such as beauty and monstrosity. Paul McCarthy’s devilishly dark humor runs rampant in Sisters, a work which in many ways was a precursor to his acclaimed and controversial WS (2013). McCarthy’s acronym for “White Snow,” WS is a salacious and chaotic rendition of the classic Disney tale, Snow White. Comprised of large scale sculpture, video projections, and drawings WS originally filled the halls of the Park Avenue Armory in New York. The controversial multi-media artist uses his work as a form of criticism of things considered stereotypically American such as Disneyland, the Wild West, and hot dogs.

While WS and his other Snow white-associated works like Sisters are an assault on pop culture and Walt Disney, it is also commentary on mass media in America. By playing with the American tale of Snow White as well as the darker, Grimm’s fairy tale version Schneewittchen, McCarthy points out the duality of what we consider to be simply a sweet children’s story. The unexamined psychological and social undercurrents of beauty, childhood, and the fairy tale come through as the main subject when McCarthy subverts the beloved saccharine tale. 

Paul McCarthy was born in Salt Lake City, UT in 1945. He received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He has been featured in numerous museums and galleries including the Park Avenue Armory, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY; Neue Nationalgalerie, Germany; Haus der Kunst, Germany; Hammer Museum, CA; and the Museum of Contemporary Los Angeles, CA. McCarthy currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Taken off view as of May 11, 2015.