Blue Trees for Houston?

by Bill Davenport August 31, 2012

Houston Arts Alliance is fixing to hire globe-trotting Australian public artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to install a version of his popular “Blue Trees” in Houston. The current proposal is to plant saplings painted with harmless, washable dye in memorial for trees lost in last years drought. Culturemap’s Shelby Hodge reported on a reception in Dimopoulos’ honor at the home of patrons Scott and Judy Nyquist earlier this month that collected “a heavy-hitter group of civic leaders, collectors and Hermann Park Conservancy leadership including Ann Kennedy, Divya and Chris Brown, Marc Melcher, Lea Weingarten, Brad Bucher, Doreen Stoller, Michael Cordua, Leigh Smith, Minnette Boesel, Karen and Byron Hood, Jereann Chaney, Sarah Whiting and Ron Witte and Houston Arts Alliance CEO Jonathon Glus and partner Alton LaDay.”


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Jason Moodie August 31, 2012 - 12:24

In the last year the King County Arts Council in the Seattle Washington area commissioned the same artwork to be installed. The public was not as welcoming to the idea as the arts council. The trees were painted by vonunteers and were stretegically placed in an area that I felt would be less of an attractant to vandals. It was not the case. the trees have been broken, run over (they are much smaller than the image above), vandalized and don’t have to same luster that they once had. There are other ways to create a memorial to some of the lost trees that will not cause damage to the remaining trees by carless observers.

A March 22, 2013 - 07:55

How do you make so many typos? Were you drunk?

JS August 31, 2012 - 19:05

This is such a frivolous project–there is no meaning to “blue trees” and it pains me that the HAA is so naive to support something like this, just because the artist is a so-called “international” artist–guess what, there are plenty of no-name international artists, and this is one of them. If Houston wants to expand its international footprint, host an international exhibition that is meaningful, politicized work–not this blue shlock!

Cheryl McCann September 1, 2012 - 08:14

“Australian public artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to install a version of his popular “Blue Trees” in Houston.”

Disappointing, I envisioned something the artist created.

Marilyn Potter September 1, 2012 - 10:13

I’m all for planting trees, but this is yet another ridiculous project from HAA.
We have some great curators in town. Could HAA please start getting some input from them?!! Otherwise, fabricate a gigantic fiberglass Blue Dog, put it in Hermann Park and be done with it!!

Scott Bodenheimer September 3, 2012 - 10:36

Yves Klein blue for the trunks? Konstantin Dimopoulos can’t even come up with an original shade of blue? That blue has nothing to do with Houston at all, it’s not a color of our sky or clouds or especially of our night. Stupid, lame, lazy choice.

Britt Ragsdale April 9, 2013 - 11:25

Agreed! I don’t mind the decoration, it’s the lack of unique color choice. Yves Klein is the only artist I can think of that has a particular color attributed to him… so why choose that color of all colors!?

Dune Tencer September 3, 2012 - 12:06

Oh give me a break! I saw the ones he did in Sealle this summer and they are just nothing. Come on Houston we can be a lot more creative than that. Houston is its own city it doesn’t need to copy Seattle or anywhere else. I’ll bet a Houstonian could be more creative!

Bill Davenport September 3, 2012 - 13:39

Red, white and blue trees?

HJ BOTT September 3, 2012 - 13:42

I love the contrast of trunks to sky to foliage hues. Matching the sky has nothing to do with the intent of juxtaposing color “ideas” in memoriam. Why carp about a “different” approach from an outsider? Has Klien Blue become off limits for some? Anything brought in from outside our province seems to always generate disgruntlement from the Miro, Moore, DuBuffet and Cragg? Is all the subjective or simply complaining.

JS September 3, 2012 - 14:04

HJ Bott, this isn’t a different approach, it is a derivative one, and incredibly simplistic. See Andy Goldworthy if you love color contrast and painstakingly beautiful and quiet moments of the natural world. If you are going to use the term “province” I am going to claim “provincialism” here–in that the work looks vaguely eco, vaguely abstract, vaguely conceptual, and yet, it isn’t any one of those things, because it is just that–vague, derivative, making absolutely no claims, no stakes, no commentary, and to boot, no incredible formal qualities either: nothing striking, beautiful, or anything that won’t look like a come-to-life photoshop monument, lacking in all monumentality, precision and complexity.

Part of the disappointment from all these previous commentators stems from the fact that this work is not “different” it is rather cliche by now, and that the Houston Art Alliance, if it has the money to spend on a so-called “international artist” (who has to fly here more than once from Down Under, be put up, hire a crew to install and document, etc etc) then it certainly lacks ambition and direction in terms of vetting said projects. Blue Trees is easy, might make some children and non-art people delighted, but it isn’t going to win any points with the local arts community, and it certainly isn’t going to make Houston look any less of a “province”–your term, not mine. It falls squarely into the fiberglass Cow Parade genre–ignorant, laughable, and utterly pathetic.

amy March 15, 2013 - 23:26

Volunteers are painting the trees there is no “crew”.

carole johnston April 3, 2013 - 12:53

Are you kidding me? Those trees at Waugh and Memorial Drive are absolutely incredibly stunning. I love that the Arts Alliance approved this visually outstanding project.

Clancy Stone April 3, 2013 - 18:58

I have only lived in Houston for a year, but the blue trees are amazing. The moment we saw them on the road my husband and son were instantly amazed. What a wonderful piece of art that has been created on the side of a road out of nature. And the tree areas chosen to be painted blue were perfect. Because those areas have nothing really interesting to look at anyway.

Great concept!!!! Much enjoyed by our family everyday we drive past them.


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