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Paintings in Trees


Some pictures. On plain walls. A circle of exclusively invited guests for an opening. Afterwards some interested burgeoisies passing by during the opening times, catching a glimpse. This is what the usual scenery for exhibiting arts at a gallery nowadays looks like. A new concept of showing art is now applied in New York – at a public park.

Last weekend „Painting in trees“ opened with a fundraising barbecue and around 150 works created by more than 100 artists at People’s Garden in Bushwick. Curated by Ben La Rocco, Linnea Paskow, and Ben Pritchard, art is scattered to the whole venue: The displayed pieces are ranging from large canvasses fastened to tree trunks, smaller paintings hung amid the branches of the trees or from the walls of garden sheds and surrounding buildings.

All of the works are supposed to survive in their spots until the end of June – a fact most artists took into account. The artworks are braced against strong wind and sealed to protect them as far as possible from humidity. To those pieces which were originally designed to be shown indoors, „Paintings in trees“ means a deathtrap experiment.


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On the other hand there are plenty of works incorporating the outside-aspect: Dasha Bazanova created small ceramic figures and put them for example on wooden swings in the trees. James Gillispie sculptured a geometrically patterned tree fungus and painter Palma Blank is playing with the different shades of green surrounding her canvas. Julie Torres meanwhile is relying on the weather to finalise her work: She hung white globes in the trees, which are painted water-solubly. When the rain comes these „worlds“ will turn in completely different ones.

Besides this special connection between art and impacts of nature, „Paintings in trees“ features new aspects of an already well-established approach: Art needs to be kicked out of exclusive places again but must instead be happening on the streets, at parks, in public. Here art is made accessible to everyone and can bond with the real world, with people, with wind and rain again.

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Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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