from the art fair

I just popped over to the Art San Diego 2012 contemporary art fair, which runs through Sunday. In addition to art, there was a lot of interesting design. A couple of the pieces or installations employed live plants and I thought I’d share them here.

The first photos are of a wall piece. I wouldn’t be surprised if the idea of planting a staghorn fern in the head of a stag trophy has been done already, but I thought this was fun. Unfortunately the presentation was short on labels or further information, so the exhibitor missed out on an opportunity to get free publicity on a garden blog that must get readers by the millions.

The other was this art installation by local artist Keenan Hartsten, who works with various natural materials. Making up this piece are plants, pots, the horizontal shelves–whatever they’re made of–and white and colored pebbles that have been glued to the wall to form horizontal lines. In this gallery-like context the plants look extremely strange, even though many of them are fairly common houseplants. If I were uncharitable I might say that the plants looked more artistic and wildly strange than much of the art in the rest of the fair. But being a plant person quite frankly I find that’s generally the case: Most plants are far more interesting than most art.

You can see some of Keenan Hartsten’s other works at his website [ here ]. I Especially like the driftwood piece he did for a local surf shop.

4 thoughts on “from the art fair”

  1. I really like the way the plants emerge directly from the upper shelf while the pots sit on the lower. It looks as if it would be easy to replicate, but I’m sure that isn’t the case! I also really like the shadows the plants create on the wall behind, a living ever-changing sculpture.

  2. Maggie, can you imagine what this piece will look like once the staghorn matures and starts to cover the “planter?”

    Ryan, I agree. It’s very well done.

    Janet, I thought the piece wasn’t that interesting at first. But I gave it a chance, and it got more interesting in return. I could see something like this working well outdoors.

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