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An art museum in Minnesota has used the occasion of its 100th birthday to grow a field-size replica of a Van Gogh work.

Emile Klein at Studio 360 has the story.

“The Minneapolis Institute of Art [MIA] has been throwing a year-long party for its 100th birthday, and the guest list has been a bit of a cultural catch-all. …

“How about a 1.2 acre rendition of a Vincent van Gogh painting, composed with items you could buy at the Home Depot?

“Van Gogh’s original piece, Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun, measures about two feet by three feet and hangs on a wall in the MIA. The new rendition, by land artist Stan Herd, covers 1.2 acres, or 7,230 Olive Trees. It’s so big that you’d have to fly a plane over to appreciate it …

“As a land artist, Herd knows that most of his work is just too big to fit inside a traditional museum, and that’s OK by him. ‘I’m a Kansan, and I make art on a frickin’ tractor. Do I really want the avant garde en Paris to see it?’

“Even if a major museum could secure zoning rights, representational art like the kind Herd makes is out of fashion in the art world. Surprisingly, the person who might appreciate Herd’s work the most is van Gogh himself. …

“Herd’s slice of Saint-Rémy won’t last forever. It will fade over time. Surprisingly, so will van Gogh’s. That’s because he painted with pigments now known to be ‘fugitive,’ like a very slowly disappearing ink. The chrome yellows and scarlets scattered throughout the painting’s sky will, in time, wilt like the marigolds in Herd’s field. Everything in nature is ephemeral — van Gogh would probably like that.”

More at Studio 360, here.

Photo: Minneapolis Institute of Art
A living representation of a Van Gogh painting. (Those are actual cars in the lower right corner.)

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