Artist Turns a Crop Field Into a Van Gogh Painting, Seen Only From Airplanes

For­mal­ly Trained as an avant-garde, abstract expres­sion­ist painter, Stan Herd went on to become some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent — an earth­works artist who takes fields where crops are grown and turns them into sprawl­ing can­vas­es on which he makes art of his own. It has been said about him: “Herd is an unusu­al artist. His medi­um is the earth itself; his palette con­sists of soil, wheat, sun­flow­ers, and corn; his brush is a trac­tor; and his images can be seen only from an air­plane.”

van gogh painting in a field

Image by The Min­neapo­lis Insti­tute of Art

Many of his ear­ly cre­ations can be revis­it­ed in his 1994 book Crop Art and Oth­er Earth­works. To see his lat­est work, just click play on the video above. Com­mis­sioned by the Min­neapo­lis Insti­tute of Art, this earth­work fea­tures a ren­der­ing of an “Olive Tree” paint­ing that Van Gogh com­plet­ed as part of a larg­er series of Olive Tree paint­ings cre­at­ed while liv­ing in an asy­lum in Saint-Rémy in 1889.


Mr. Herd start­ed work on the project last spring, plant­i­ng dif­fer­ent crops in a field owned by Thom­son Reuters. By fall, pas­sen­gers fly­ing into Min­neapo­lis could catch a view of Herd’s Van Gogh–like the one you see above.

via This is Colos­sal

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Van Gogh’s 1888 Paint­ing, “The Night Cafe,” Ani­mat­ed with Ocu­lus Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Soft­ware

The Unex­pect­ed Math Behind Van Gogh’s “Star­ry Night”

Down­load 35,000 Works of Art from the Nation­al Gallery, Includ­ing Mas­ter­pieces by Van Gogh, Gau­guin, Rem­brandt & More

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