Tree (installation)

Artist Paul McCarthy
Completion date October 2014
Dimensions 24 m (79 ft)
Condition Destroyed; removed
Location Paris
Coordinates 48°52′03″N 2°19′46″E / 48.8675°N 2.3294°E / 48.8675; 2.3294Coordinates: 48°52′03″N 2°19′46″E / 48.8675°N 2.3294°E / 48.8675; 2.3294

Tree was a controversial 24-metre (79 ft) high inflatable sculpture by the artist Paul McCarthy that was briefly installed in the Place Vendôme in Paris in October 2014[1] as part of a FIAC exhibition called "Hors les murs".[2] Although officially described as a Christmas tree, it was widely criticised for its similarity in appearance to a huge green butt plug.[3][4] McCarthy admitted that it was deliberately shaped as such as a joke.[5]

The controversy over the sculpture led to McCarthy being assaulted and the sculpture being vandalised only two days after its installation; a vandal climbed the fencing around it and cut the power supply which kept it inflated, in addition to cutting the cords holding it up. McCarthy stated that he did not want the work repaired or replaced.[6][7]

The attention given to the sculpture brought a boom in sales of real butt plugs in Paris: a sex shop owner reported that he usually sold 50 per month predominantly to gay men, but in November 2014 sold over 1,000 roughly divided equally between heterosexual men and women.[8]

See also


  1. "Paris 'sex toy' sculpture raises storm". BBC News. 2014-10-17.
  2. Alexander Forbes (October 17, 2014). "Paul McCarthy Beaten Up over Butt Plug Sculpture". Artnet.
  3. "US artist erects giant green 'butt plug' in Paris". France24. 2014-10-17.
  4. Jardonnet, Emmanuelle (17 October 2014). "McCarthy agressé pour l'érection d'un arbre de Noël ambigu, place Vendôme". Le Monde (in French).
  5. Chazan, David (18 October 2014). "Vandals deflate giant 'sex toy' sculpture in Paris". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  6. "Paris's giant 'butt plug' installation vandalised". France24. 2014-10-18.
  7. "Paris flustered erection sex toy sculpture". NY Daily News. 2014-10-18.
  8. Mulholland, Rory (2 December 2014). "Parisians snap up 'butt plugs' after 'Tree' scandal". The Local. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
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