Paul McCarthy: WS


“In Mr. McCarthy we have a [Jonathan] Swift for our time, or maybe a Hieronymus Bosch, and in ‘WS’ … a scabrous American ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’.”
–The New York Times

“The Demented Imagineer”
–As seen in The New York Times Magazine, May 11, 2013

The “ribald, pop-culture-obsessed provocateur” (The New York Times) Paul McCarthy applies his signature, irreverent wit to take aim at American myths and icons in WS, his largest work to date and the pinnacle of his creative output. Adding a touch of malice to subjects that have been traditionally revered for their innocence or purity, McCarthy weaves together a massive, fantastical forest of towering trees with grotesque video projections of iconic characters playing out their own fairy tale drama in a replica of his childhood home.

This daring social commentary lampoons the American dream and its cherished icons, bombarding the viewer with a sensory overload of scatological, sexual, violent, and debaucherous imagery that boldly forces the viewer to acknowledge the twisted underside to saccharine idols in popular culture. The result is a visceral, very challenging, immersive experience by one of the most influential and important artists of our generation.



Paul McCarthy: WS is co-curated by the Armory’s Artistic Director Alex Poots and Hans-Ulrich Obrist in association with Tom Eccles.

The Armory is grateful to Ken Kuchin for his generous support of this installation.

Image above and throughout website:
Paul McCarthy, WS, 2013
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Photo: Joshua White


June 19 – August 4, 2013
Tuesday – Thursday: 1:00pm – 8:00pm
Friday: 1:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm

Join us on this final Friday evening when WS is open until 10pm and we set up a special bar in the Parlor for libations.

$15 General Admission
$12 Students (with ID), Seniors (65+)
FREE: Armory Members

This exhibition contains mature content. Entrance is restricted to visitors over 17 years of age.

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