Friday, April 22, 2011

Painted Trees

Normally when I choose a blog topic, I do so because it appeals to me in some fashion. I may admire the art and artist, or I may think the subject matter charming, whimsical, novel or curiously odd. Not so in this case.

Curtis Killorn likes to paint dead trees. According to Curtis he "paints dead trees in bright colors in the mountains of Colorado as public art". He says, "Nature is already so beautiful and full of such depth and grace... and it is NOT my intention to mask or enhance it in any way. Much in the way that we paint each other's skin out in the desert, the intention is bring out the beauty which is already there. I have a "thing" for trees and see the relationship between humans and trees to be an ever evolving idea which continues to inspire. The trees that I paint are long dead and weathered by hundreds of years. What I do is bring "life" back to the tree in a completely new way. This tree which was once dead is now vibrantly alive to be noticed by all, no longer blending in with all the other dead trees."

Curtis's intention may not be to mask or enhance the natural beauty of the dead trees, but I think considering the outcome, this is a contradiction in terms. I'm of the opinion that he took personal liberties with something not his own. His application of rainbow-brite paint is a gaudy display of so-called artistry. Although inert, the trees look like they are suffocating under the heaviness of the paint. It's as though he took advantage of their remains. It feels to me like he's defacing something that he has no right to deface, in a place that should be out of bounds for such a thing. He's tagging nature.

Respect the tree. Trees, dead or not, rooted in their natural setting were once living organisms. They aren't man-made compositions commonly used as canvases for street art, such as concrete, plaster and bricks. Yet, when you go deeper into the matter, is painting a tree any worse than what we do on a daily basis, which is to cut down trees, mill them, build with them and ultimately apply paint to the end product? I suppose not when you get down to it, but there's something innately uncomfortable about painting trees... especially when the end result looks God awful.

All in all though, we've f'd up our planet enough with our selfish gluttony and greed, and our irresponsible habitation. I think we should protect nature by being as unobtrusive as possible while trying to use natural resources efficiently and wisely. It's high time for some boundaries, and this crosses the line.

(source article)

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