Crown, 2003

Installation view: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. Collection as Aleph, Kunsthaus Graz, 2008, Photo: Niki Lackner / Landesmuseum Joanneum

Aluminum, fluorescent tubes, mirrors, wood
265.5 x 189 x 189 cm

The monumental installation, Crown, is part of Paul McCarthy's re-interpretation of a London bank's original Edwardian interior (now the representative location of Hauser & Wirth Gallery). In this work, the artist recreated one of the original chandeliers of the main banking hall, altering the scale and materials through exaggeration and distortion with the use of an aluminum frame more than three meters high and neon lights. Crown is the ideological carrier of its archetype on the one hand, yet it is a "higher-faster-bigger" distortion, on the other. It plays off the character of the space it derives from, its physical elements as well as social and historical context. The giant chandelier is mutated into a grotesque, disorienting, and carnivalesque form representing a suspect ideological value system.

*1945 in Salt Lake City, USA I Living and working in Los Angeles, USA