Artwork details

Title
Rocky
Date
1976
Medium
Video
Dimensions
Duration: 21:30
Artist
Paul McCarthy

Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo.

 

Rocky, 1976
Paul McCarthy has held a prominent role in the Los Angeles art scene since the 1970s, when he began to create his performative video works focusing on the fanatical celebrity culture, sensationalism and glorification of violence that are part of the entertainment industry. In Rocky the artist challenges social boundaries through obscene gestures and bizarre actions such as smearing his body with food and bodily fluids, and punching his own head while wearing boxing gloves. In addition to the obviously humorous connections with the eponymous film, the work also alludes to the myth of the artist’s inner conflict. Towards the end of the film the artist has defeated himself, and sinks to the floor, exhausted, at the edge of the picture. The work can be interpreted as a satirical comment on the glorification of violence that is inherent in Hollywood’s culture.

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