How One Artist Turned a 1.2-Acre Field Into a Massive Van Gogh Painting


Sure, famous painters spend countless hours working on their masterpieces. But one artist spent six months cultivating squash, watermelon, pumpkins and cantaloupes to transform a plain plot of land in Minnesota into a masterpiece.

The Artist Behind the Plants

Crop artist Stan Herd, transformed a 1.2-acre plot of land into Van Gogh’s famous “Olive Trees” in Eagan, Minn. finishing in early September.

It required countless hours of weeding, shaping and arranging to get the stunning overhead visual. He also incorporated rocks, mulch and soil into the piece.

Part of his artistic process also included fending off hungry deer and harsh weather to keep his “painted” trees looking vibrant. He told MPR News, “that’s the dance of nature.”

Thomson Reuters

The once-plain plot sits on the edge of campus of the media firm Thomas Reuters. It’s part of the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s centennial celebrations.

While the original painting — produced in 1889 — could fit in the front seat of your car, Herd’s artwork can be appreciated flying into Minneapolis from 12 miles away.

Herd has created plenty of other large-scale earthworks around the world, including a replica of a Da Vinci sketch in Salida, Kan. and gorgeous earthwork projects in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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How One Artist Turned a 1.2-Acre Field Into a Massive Van Gogh Painting