Saturday, April 25, 2009

What's in a name? Just ask Mr. Will Treelighter.

When you live in New York, you see a lot of unusual things; things that always solicit the same response from head-shaking passers-by: "only in New York." And yes, there are a lot of things that you won't see anywhere else in the world--the ashy transvestite crackhead pushing a stroller full of trash while plucking his beard with tweezers that I stood next to on the train the other day is indeed a pretty unique phenomenon. But New Yorkers don't seem to realize that you can witness unusual things everywhere, and that sometimes those experiences are a lot more more meaningful and transformative than having a strung-out homeless man ruin your dinner by screaming "PORKCHOP TO THE RIVER" in your face (yes, also a true story).

So let's talk about just this kin of thing, and experience that I'll label "only in Missouri." One night, while driving around Columbia, Missouri, home of the University of Missouri, I was literally punched in the face by one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. A thing, I would learn, called 'The Magic Tree.' Pictured above, the Magic Tree is the work of artist Will Treelighter. The photos are lovely, but the tree in-person is unbelievably gorgeous. And that's really all I can say about it. It's so beautiful in fact, I frankly don't even care to know if "Treelighter" is his real name. That kind of question just doesn't seem to matter.

Will himself discusses on his website (linked below) the spiritual and religious implications of his work. He is earnestly trying to make something beautiful and touching, something made from just christmas lights and a tree which becomes so much more. 2008's tree had 75,000 lights and costs $10 to light for one night--about 8 hours worth. Mr. Treelighter accepts donations from those who visit the tree, and he puts these towards the cost of lights and electricity, and donates to charity. It's a wonderful public art project that has grown over time to the amazing feat of creativity and electric light it is today.

Move over Dan Flavin, there's a new light artist in town. Check it:

No comments:

Post a Comment