In Eagan, Van Gogh’s ‘Olive Trees’ is a planting, not a painting

If you are flying into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport over the next couple of months, here’s a tip: Book your seat on the left side of the airplane. That should give you the best view of a huge artwork taking shape in Eagan.

In a field below the flight path, Stan Herd and some helpers are at work with tools and plants. It’s not immediately obvious, but Stan Herd is recreating a work by Vincent van Gogh called “Olive Trees.”

“I feel very connected to the man here,” Herd said. “That may be hubris, but I just do. I’m getting to live in a Van Gogh painting.

Herd is internationally known for his earthworks. By careful planting, grooming and tending, he transforms open spaces, whether fields or derelict urban lots, into brilliantly colored artworks.

When the Minneapolis Institute of Art invited him to create a work based on something in its collection as part of its 100th anniversary celebration, Herd said, he leapt at the chance.

And his first choice was “Olive Trees,” which Van Gogh painted in 1889, just before he died. Herd carries a battered photocopy of the painting with him as a reference.

“There’s a lot of movement in this painting,” he said. “And so that will be my task over the next six weeks … to try to pull colors in.”

The original painting is about 29 inches by 36. Herd’s version covers about an acre. A slash of paint smaller than a fingernail on the canvas is yards long on the ground.

From the ground, it’s hard to see the work. That’s where Herd’s photocopy is vital. He’s marked it off in a grid and uses it to pinpoint where he needs to dig, plant and mow.

Read the full artical http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/08/05/olive-trees-crop-art

It did get me thinking about Mr gogh https://themissinggraph.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/paintings-as-infographics-sunflowers-by-vincent-van-gogh/