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Artist Uses Plants to Create Larger-Than-Life Replica of Famous Van Gogh Painting on a Field

Stan Herd, a Kansas-based landscape artist, recently completed his very own museum-worthy masterpiece. Only, it can’t be moved because it’s actually made out of plants growing in a field!

The 1.2-acre crop art ‘painting’, located on field near Minneapolis, is a replica of Van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece ‘Olive Trees’. Herd was commissioned to create it by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where the Van Gogh original currently hangs. It took him six long months of digging, planting, and mowing a giant grass field before the ‘earthwork’ was finally complete on September 11. It is best viewed from high above, especially if you happen to be flying in to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“When you’re on ground level you can’t tell what the cuts even look like, but when you get up there you can see the patterns,” said Rick King, board member of the Minneapolis Museum and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “If you are landing from the southeast and flying northwest, it will be on your left-hand side as you approach the airport.”   

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Stan Herd Uses Crop Fields as Canvases for His Art

For more than 30 years, Kansas-based artist Stan Herd has created large scale artworks he calls Earthworks, using crop fields as canvases.

Stan Herd was born into a family of farmers and grew up in a very small town in southwest Kansas. Although he was the artist in the family and in school, Stan also had an intimate relationship with the earth, and his earliest artworks depicted fields of wheat and alfalfa crossed by seemingly endless country roads, and agricultural activities in rural America. He realized he enjoyed doing large scale artworks when he started doing murals, and got the brilliant idea of using the earth as his canvas one time when he was flying over a crop field, in an airplane.

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