Blockhead & Daddies Bighead: Paul McCarthy

Paul McCarthy is widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking artists of today. Using the language and imagery of the all-pervasive American consumer culture he grew up with, his work distorts and mutates the familiar into the disturbing and grotesque. Blockhead is loosely based on the character of Pinocchio, but as in much of McCarthy's work, this popular children's character is mutated to a form bordering on the grotesque. The work combines this strange mutation with funfair spectacle. The enormous scale of the figure is designed to physically overpower the viewer, an experience the artist has likened to standing at the bottom of a cliff, describing the inflatable as "œan abstract that rises up and over your head." Daddies Bighead is another newly commissioned inflatable sculpture that stands at approximately half the height of Blockhead at sixteen metres tall. Daddies Bighead is based on a ketchup bottle. Ketchup has been a pivotal motif through all of McCarthy's work. He has frequently used ketchup in his performances and installations, along with other kitchen table foodstuff.