Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The blue trees: Dr. Seuss and Brothers Grimm mash-up

This is a blue tree. Rather, this tree is blue. I painted this with biologically-safe, water-based ultramarine mineral pigments. I wouldn't normally go around slapping pigments on trees, but this was a special installation from performance artist and sculptor Konstantin Dimopoulos and I was a volunteer. 
The Blue Trees is part of an ongoing series he's creating, and in the case of Houston it's meant to draw attention to the millions of lovely trees we lost to Hurricane Ike and the drought. On a grander scale, it's also meant to call attention to the perils of deforestation. 

They said they had more than 100 volunteers over the three days of painting, but if I were guessing I'd say closer to 200 folks showed up to be part of this social installation. This is the scene upon arrival. Note the (blurry) bluebonnet in the foreground - our national - er, state - flower. 

Dimopoulos himself was overseeing the painting. He's an interesting character. Born in Egypt, he has a Greek name, spent many years in New Zealand and now lives in Australia. And his accent is all Aussie. He's charming, well-spoken and visionary. And wears a lot of blue.

Here is Konstantin, being interviewed by one of the affiliates. No, they didn't plan out that kneeling choreography...

The horseshoe of crepe myrtles stands stoically, peaceful and unmoving in the center of a hub of traffic. The blue adds a layer of odd tranquility, with the final effect feeling like a collaboration between Dr. Seuss and the Brothers Grimm. 

Houston loves art, and I love Houston for supporting projects like this one!

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