The other night I
caught Art:21 on PBS. http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/paul-mccarthy/
It was a two part segment;
the first was on Cindy Sherman, the second on Paul McCarthy.
I enjoy hearing artists speak about their work, see their studios
and really see where they come from. For example, Cindy made
a book as an adolescent called “The Me, book” where she made a photo album filled with family snapshots and she circled herself in all the pictures. I really appreciated seeing how her work and her process evolved from this interest in self and identity. But, it was the segment about Paul McCarthy that resonated most for me. To begin with, I have come across his work on a couple of occasions in Manhattan, but never really “got it” or cared to make an effort to. What struck me after watching the interview with him is that 1) the more you learn or know about something(someone) your pre-judgements are cast aside and you can really appreciate what is not always easy or accessible. This could be said about anything- or any one. And 2) Paul talked about his interest in the pursuit of an idea. He was not so interested in his audiences response to his work, rather his commitment was to an idea and to see how far he can take it. As an artist, our commitment is to the work, the pursuit of an idea; give it weight and value and then push it to the limits- without regard to how it will be received. By thinking of the end- how will it be received seems to stifle the very flow of the idea.