~PAUL McCARTHY/CHOCOLATE SANTA/MACCARONE
PETER PAUL CHOCOLATES – EDIBLES BY PAUL McCARTHY – SANTA WITH TREE AND BELL
CHOCOLATE SANTA/IMAGE COURTESY/MACCARONE GALLERY
PAUL McCARTHY – CHOCOLATE SANTA
PETER PAUL FACTORY at MACCARONE GALLERY – 630 GREENWICH ST – WEST VILLAGE – NYC
OPEN FOR BUSINESS FROM NOVEMBER 15TH THROUGH DECEMBER 24TH, 2007
IN COLLABORATION WITH HAUSER & WIRTH, ZURICH LONDON/PETERPAULCHOCOLATES.COM
THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is open to the public seven days a week.
RETAIL/STORE HOURS are: Monday thru Saturday, NOON – 8PM, and Sunday NOON – 6PM.
(note: they only take credit cards.)
FACTORY HOURS – when you can actually watch them make the chocolate Santas,
Tuesday-Saturday 10AM – 6PM.
PAUL McCARTHY at the opening of ‘CHOCOLATE SANTA’, MACCARONE GALLERY,
THURSDAY, NOV 15, 2007 – he is holding a freshly boxed Santa, with the ‘funny looking Christmas tree’ – part of the box’s label, visible on its side.
IWAN WIRTH of HAUSER & WIRTH, ZURICH LONDON, at the PAUL McCARTHY
installation, ‘CHOCOLATE SANTA’ OPENING, MACCARONE GALLERY, Nov 15, 2007
HAUSER & WIRTH collaborated on the exhibit.
MICHELE MACCARONE, (center, checkered jacket) at PAUL McCARTHY – ‘CHOCOLATE SANTA’, which opened last night, THURSDAY, NOV 15, 2007 – at her new West Village space.
a view of the final assembly line – that wraps, and boxes the CHOCOLATE SANTAS into beautiful, custom designed boxes. (supposedly there’s some of that pink, limited edition CHOCOLATE SANTA WALLPAPER available too, or, that might become available, at some point . . .)
There’s also word floating around of a special edition – SILVER VERSION CHOCOLATE SANTA – but that, so far, only one has been made ?
With this exhibit, (her 5th in the new location), and which is in fact, a fully operational, small scale chocolate making and retailing enterprise, carefully designed down to the last drop, including the logos on the workers’ uniforms and the decals placed on the boxes; MICHELE MACCARONE, has finally exploited the full potential of her large, state-of-the-art gallery space. The PAUL McCARTHY ‘CHOCOLATE SANTA’ production is a wonder to behold, from the very first steps of the chocolate being poured into molds, by professional chocoltiers, thru the various steps of the production/assembly line to the rows of finished SANTAS, unwrapped, wrapped in colorful cellophane, and finally boxed, that line the gallery on hi-tech shelving carts. The gallery interior has been (almost) completely re-configured, and in the most ingenious of ways. In fact, what were formerly exhibition walls, were taken down, so that the chocolate making process, can be seen through the gallery’s large storefront windows. Making matters more intense, enchanted, or downright dangerous, depending on your personal spatial navigation skills, such as depth of field or peripheral perceptions – all the wall spaces and corners, between the different production areas, are seamlessly lined with full length mirror surfaces, and steel beams that hold up the temporary wall partitions at the ceiling – are deliberately designed to increase the spatial distortion – in other words, if you get even the least bit carried away, checking out the brightly uniformed candy makers, as they intensely pour molten chocolate into molds – and – you bump smack into a wall, when you thought you were turning a corner, trust me – you wouldn’t be the first !!!
Luckily they didn’t have alcohol at the opening, because tipsy guests – would have had a hard time navigating, but perhaps even more deadly – they had a ‘tasting’ plate. Every time it emptied – a cheerful chocolate baker brought in a new SANTA and cracked it merrily into small chunks to sample.. even if you are not a chocolate lover, – you’d have to say, this is chocolate to die for. I don’t know if this fair to say – but every detail of that bright, fresh and witty installation is matched by a taste of that chocolate – it all leads up to the chocolate and you think, well the idea and the packaging and the (rather notorious) SANTA itself – is the big art deal – but no, the chocolate is the real deal, too. PETER PAUL is really a first rate chocolate shop !! ‘Master Chocolatier’ – PETER P. GREWELING, of the CULINARY INSTITUTE of AMERICA (get it ? PETER PAUL/PETER GREWELING/PAUL McCARTHY) oversees the actual chocolate making, and was said to have formulated a ‘just-so’ custom recipe for the occasion, and, they are using only GUITTARD premium chocolate. And apparently its a pretty good source – California-based GUITTARD, founded in 1868, is the oldest family owned and operated chocolate company in the US. and besides the box – with its custom label – you get a really nice paper shopping bag, with custom ‘CHOCOLATE SANTA’ decals on it, too – to cart away your purchase.
Of course the big ‘joke’ of the night was . . . that yes, that ‘funny-looking’ Christmas tree the Santa is holding, is indeed a … butt plug ! that might be why PAUL McCARTHY is grinning so broadly, in the photo above, as he holds a boxed Santa – with the pertinent part of the label’s design to the camera. and no, my erstwhile imagination is not being carried way – even though the PETER PAUL CHOCOLATES website simply refers to it variously as: ‘CHOCOLATE SANTA’, and ‘SANTA WITH TREE AND BELL’ – at the NYC site, the little factory running at MACCARONE GALLERY – its proudly boxed and clearly labeled them as . . ‘Chocolate Santa with Butt Plug’ – if you don’t believe me, go see for yourself. in fact, here’s a scan of the actual decal that went on the boxes:
and yes, . . I even overheard a well-dressed suit, laughing all the time – relate how he was in conversation, on his cell – when he realized he had just said: “…can’t talk now, I’m chewing on a butt plug !” – go figure !! – that’s the DECEMBER 2007 art world for ya. If you actually managed to escape eating dinner surrounded by a gazillion god-awful DAMIEN HIRST carcasses – then, next thing you know – your’re buying your best friends Chocolate Santas – merrily bearing butt plugs – to munch on. well, they’d sold almost 500 by the end of the first day. and why not, they are exquisite & witty to behold, they’re made from top rate chocolate, you can watch your food being made fresh in front of your face – and, they are boxed for collectors, if you can resist actually eating the little beast.
If you are buying one as a collector’s item, you better buy two – one to eat, and one to keep. or just forget the collecting already, (ok, save the box) and throw yourself into the true spirit of the show. at $100 a pop for a first rate chocolate figurine that stands 10″ high, comes with a pedestal and a designer box – this, isn’t really that overboard, in NYC – you can easily blow $80 – on just 10 teeny tiny chocolates in a mass produced box, at ABC CARPET, any old day. and they are not even made fresh on the spot!
one final note – I can’t resist – it’s really an amazing art world experience in New York City right now – there is so much good art out there, from the biggest Manhattan galleries – to the smallest storefront galleries in Brooklyn. but as someone who depends on it’s liveliness for my livelihood – how’s the future gonna be able to top what is happening in NYC today – that is, on any given day this month, on a casual stroll down a nondescript West Village block bordered by Greenwich and LeRoy – you can walk into the silent, empty and awesome, you could even say – apocalyptic, pit that URS FISCHER dug out of GBE and 2 doors down, enter the bustling candyland factory of PAUL McCARTHY at neighboring MACCARONE!!!! It’s actually kind of mind blowing. no amount of words or photos can convey the actual physical experience of either installation. Both galleries have had their interior formal exhibition spaces ripped up and turned, in one case upside down, and in the other, in way, on its head. The stunning mental shock of the URS FISCHER excavation – has its enchanted moments, too; you have to crouch down and enter thru an Alice-in-Wonderland scaled down doorway – and conversely – the, at-first-impression innocent, very merry and bustling PAUL McCARTHY chocolate factory has at its core, a – shock factor. A not-insignificant , in-your-face, conceptual edge too, which like the URS FISCHER piece is a culturally defining moment – the ‘funny looking’ Christmas tree. Both have their conceptual edges – pointing at you – in-your-face/NYC style – sharp as swords – challenging you, with a big grin !
UP-DATE: TUES/NOV 20, 2007
NOTE: THE URS FISHER show, ‘you’ at Gavin Brown’s enterprise – has been extended thru, DEC 22, 2007.
on second thought: . . the ‘Chocolate Santa with Butt Plug – by Paul McCarthy’ decal might just be going onto the shopping bags – in which case: 1) save the shopping bag, too !! and, 2) does that make McCarthy a ‘get-over artist’, everywhere else, but – here, in NYC ?
it’s a little hard to hedge one’s mass marketing bets – with the internet.
. . . and that’s also, one reason why New York will always be the center of the artworld – at least for the next few generations – New Yorkers would rather have their art, ‘in-your-face’ – and can handle it, as it barrels at them – apparently with great nonchalance, if not total delight – rather than be ‘get-overed’, on.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE OPENING – TO POST THIS WEEK.