You know how everyone’s claiming to be an artist these days? Make-up technicians, hairdressers, gallerists, your kid sister, that crazy aunt who does crocheted landscapes? Yeah? Well now even plants are getting in on the game. British artist Tim Knowles attaches pens to the tips of tree branches and sets up an easel just within reach of the waving “paintbrushes.” As the tree branches sway and get blown around, the pens trace out black arcs and dots on the papered easels. There’s a minimalist poetry to the works themselves that’s pretty cool.
But what I find really interesting about Knowles’ project is the documentation. The photographs Knowles takes of his artist-trees are a strange mix of idealized landscapes, anthropomorphized nature and a bizarre dollop of a kind of post-Victorian sexuality: the fetish of an artist taking on nature … when the artist is nature. Check out this tree doin’ its thang:
Isn’t that hott? But how do these trees compare to other artists trekking out to the wilderness to portray their own version of nature?
[Note: Courbet link here]
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Sure any tree can paint. But can it paint as well as the painting horse I read about recently? I think Bravo needs to develop “Project Paint Off.” The premise: Trees, monkeys, horses–all manner of plant and animal life–compete for a solo show at the vanity gallery of their choice. I think this idea’s got legs.
Well, Pablo Picasso collected some paintings by Congo the Chimpanzee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congo_(chimpanzee) Though Congo might be a little too established for a reality show. Except he’s dead…
Chris Martin exhibited one of the elephant paintings he collected at the “Party at Phong’s” show at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery a few years back. During my interview with him at the time he said: “I put this elephant [Sri Siam] in the show because I think he’s a good painter.”
OK, Kyle and Hrag. I say forget Bravo. Let’s take take this proposal directly to Animal Planet! (Kyle: I don’t mean to make fun of the painting trees. I actually love them!)
haha have you ever seen Puppy Bowl? The TV show that comes on during the Super Bowl? It’s just video of puppies playing in a mini stadium. It could be that, but paper it and cover the puppies paws in paint… Oh wait. Aaron Young already did that. http://artobserved.com/358/
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