Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trees..... as art???????

Graft by Roxy Paine
A couple of months ago while in DC for a continuing education meeting, one of Roxy Paine's tree sculptures was on display in the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden.  Though it was a dreary afternoon, the tree was mesmerizing.  I'm fairly certain that waited at least 10 minutes for all of the people to get out of the way in order to take this photo. 
But... where have I seen THIS before????  Well, not this exact tree - it IS part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery - but something similar.  
Ding.  Lightbulb moment. 
Raleigh, North Carolina, and New York City.
Last November, the North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh, was hosting a traveling Rembrandt exhibit.  And, for whatever reason, it was my first trip to the museum. 
In the gardens surrounding the museum, also known as the museum park, there was..... a metal tree sculpture.  I dug thru the photos on my phone and found this!
Askew by Roxy Paine, NC Museum of Art, Raleigh
And.... several years ago, she had done an installation on the roof of the Met in New York.
Maelstrom by Roxy Paine, The Met Museum, NYC

So, the logical question that you are probably asking is:  Why is this a blog topic, today?

Well, this past weekend, New York City was the destination for a wedding.  Getting to the Big Apple had been a complete cluster.....  Tired, irritated, and grumpy, I arrived first at the Intercontinental Hotel at Times Square.  And, there was an amazing tree sculpture on view just through the lobby windows. 

Wonder if Roxy Paine created it????  Ok, iPhone... do your thing. 

Interestingly, the answer was... NO. 

Because her stainless steel trees have been exhibited nationally and internationally, her price point has become increasingly elevated.  Most of Ms. Paine's trees sell for around $2.5 million. 

Back at The Intercontinental Hotel, the goal was LEED green certification.  Consequently, the design staff was trying to obtain as many things locally as possible.   Though Ms. Paine lives and works in Brooklyn, the concern was that she utilizes new materials for her sculptures. 

Enter stage right.... Josh Hadar.  (Sorry, had to get in at least one Broadway reference.)

Josh Hadar of Hadar Metal Designs designed the tree in the hotel lobby. While he is probably best known for his custom bicycles....

Christy Lynn bicycle by Josh Hadar
...his early work focused on reclaimed building materials and broken bicycle parts.  As a result, he was commissioned by the Intercontinental Hotel for an environmental installation using recycled materials. 
Here are some photos from HIS website regarding the install. 


And, the final result that welcomes hotel visitors...... amazing!!!!!   This was one of my absolute favorite photos from the trip. 

Trees by Josh Hadar, Intercontinental Hotel Times Square, NYC
Not only is the tree with the red backdrop stunning, but his prices are also much less stratospheric in nature.  Commissioned works range from $25,000 to $65,000. 
So... I guess that trees CAN be art!   

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