Paul McCarthy's artwork has made some passers-by uncomfortable
Paul McCarthy's artwork has made some passers-by uncomfortable INM

Giant inflatable Christmas Tree looks more like a 'sex toy'

UPDATE: The Guardian is reporting that vandals have attacked and deflated the installation. 

EARLIER: This inflatable "Christmas tree" erected in Paris is making passers-by feel a little uncomfortable.

The 80ft-high object is raising eyebrows because of its uncanny resemblance to a sex toy, but is actually an installation by American artist Paul McCarthy.

Simply called "Tree", it is towering over the Place Vendome as part of a contemporary art fair.

McCarthy, who is no stranger to controversy, designed the piece specifically for the "Fiac" festival but it has not been taken well by some critics.

Printemps Francais, a far-right group that opposes gay marriage, has been complaining on Twitter.

"Taxpayers - this is where your money goes!" said one post, while another claimed the Place Vendome had been "disfigured" and Paris "humiliated".

An inflatable sculpture called 'Complex Pile' by American contemporary artist Paul Mccarth on display at the 'Inflation!' exhibition
An inflatable sculpture called 'Complex Pile' by American contemporary artist Paul Mccarth on display at the 'Inflation!' exhibition INM

It is one of McCarthy's many Christmas-themed works, including a controversial "Santa Claus" intended for Rotterdam in 2001.

It was never placed next to a concert hall as planned because of arguments about another suggestive Christmas tree that earned the statue the nickname "butt plug gnome".

He also created a giant inflatable installation depicting excrement in Hong Kong last year and in 2011, an exhibition of his work in London included a pair of animatronic George W Bush sculptures having sex with pigs.



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