Valentine's Day is upon us, which means that if you haven't booked dinner reservations or bought any chocolates yet, your backup plan is probably going to involve flowers. Since at least the time of Ovid, they've been a source of inspiration and fascination for artists the world over. Today, little has changed: celebrate the innate beauty of nature's original sculptures with these 10 works of flower art.
Rebecca Louise Law's 16,000 Flower Installation
In January, tens of thousands of roses, carnations, and baby’s breath flowers were suspended in the lobby of 1515 Broadway in Times Square. Over the next three months, Rebecca Louise Law's installation will dry, becoming a fixed-yet-ephemeral artwork, a “tranquil space of nature, a buffer from the crazy,” according to the artist.
Azuma Makota's Space Bouquets
For the artist's first gravity-defying project, Exobiotanica, the artist uprooted plants and placed them in a new kind of “nature,”—one 90,000 feet up high in the stratosphere.
Flowers Trapped in Blocks of Ice
Also by Makota, Iced Flowers is a series of sculptures designed so that viewers can observe "the changing life of flowers that are locked in ice," according to the artist. The result? A juxtaposition of organic and artificial forms that "change themselves over time in the ruins far from human’s existence."
Miguel Chevalier's Fractal Flowers
The artist behind the "magic carpet" of projected light in Morocco brought his interactive Fractal Flowers installation to the Museum of Modern Art of Céret for their Exhibition artificial paradises 2014 show. Says Chevalier, "Like Alice who found herself on the other side of the looking glass, visitors are transported into a magical world, in the heart of a virtual, disproportionate and luxuriant nature." When viewers approach the seeds on the walls, the "flowers" blossom before their very eyes.
In our documentary above, learn about how Harvard University postdoctoral research fellow and effective chemio-"botanist," Wim Noorduin, and Harvard chemistry professor Joanna Aizenberg are using specialized chemicals, refined lab techniques, and the finest in optical technologies to create intricate crystalline structures that look quite a bit like delicate, organic flower blossoms. Click here to learn more.
David de los Santos' Blooming Flower Timelapses
Over 5,000 frames of vegetative glory reveals the budding lives of some of nature's most precious gems, including lillium, hibiscus, and the moth orchid. The result is a stunning timelapse film that shows the beauty of nature usually hidden to the naked eye.
Arie van ’t Riet's X-Ray Flora and Fauna
For his series of works that bring art together with science, the Dutch physicist, who specializes in low-energy radiology, decided to intersect X-rays with plant and animal life forms. Certain portions of the flora and fauna are colorized through Photoshop, but the result is a fantastically polychromatic spin on the sterile diagnostic tool.
Van Gogh's 3D-Printed Sunflowers
Artist duo Rob and Nick Carter turned the fantasy of picking the flowers from the frame of van Gogh's iconic painting into semi-reality with their 3D interpretation of van Gogh's masterwork in an exhibition called Transforming. To translate van Gogh's original work into 3D digital files, the duo paired with visual effects studio Moving Picture Company—known for its computered generated imagery for mega films like World War Z and Life of Pi.
Martin Klimas' Flowervases
For Flowervases, the Düsseldorf-based photographer stroboscopically freezes still lifes in the act of destruction. By stopping the action of steel bearings being shot through vases, the artist “turns the unknown into order and knowledge.”
Bruce Munro's Fireflies
Munro's Fireflies, fused out of copper tube, brass stakes, acrylic polymer fiber optic cable, add radiance to the forest surrounding Cheekwood, the site of the artist's massive project for the Cheekwood Gardens in Nashville. Check out our documentary on Munro's 20,000 light wonderland here.