Sam Lipsyte, Paul McCarthy, Zurich, 2006.
Hardcover, 56 pp., 33 color illustrations, 9 x 9 x 0.5 inches.
*Poster included with black plastic sleeve.
Most artists would be sorry to hear that their work looked like a steaming plate of poop, but not Paul McCarthy. Because that's exactly what he's drawn. In a woodbound portfolio scribbled and annotated ("finger," "smeel my assh hul hole") in what looks like the handwriting of a teenage boy, everything that isn't scatological is phallic or violent. Photographs, including documentation of his sculptures, raise the production values and (sometimes) lower the NC-17 rating. And his commentaries on the work clarify his intentions: if Disney-esque model dwarves are "emissaries from multinational conglomerates come to colonize our dreams," McCarthy's mission must be, in part, recovering those dreams and restoring the taboo to our minds. Mission accomplished. McCarthy, born in Salt Lake City in 1945 and a longtime resident of Los Angeles, has had recent major solo shows at Stockholm's Moderna Museet, New York's New Museum and the Tate Modern in London.