Monday, February 22, 2010


Tony Romano

Romano's next show titled A Fist Full of Flies opens on February 25. I'm not sure what the exhibition is really about, nor can I guess what the figure made from tree branches and brush is doing, but I like it.

In 2005 I started working with trees, grafting any scion-stock combination so long as it wasn't homogeneous. Though short-lived, these grafts begged to replicate in other parks, another country, and my parents' backyard. The Tree Museum, DeCordova, and Arnold Arboretum seemed natural to pursue, but not until I had grafting down, as I was sure that no tree museum would allow something funny that couldn't first and foremost proliferate. Or at least sustain.

For years it seemed as if tree 'museums' lacked a sense of humor -- until I saw the photo above. Immediately I thought Canadian artist Romano got something funny into the Tree Museum in Muskoka, Ontario -- until I realized that that might not be the Tree Museum at all, nor is he trying to be funny (don't know yet). Despite the seriousness of nature and the unknowns of his unopened show, Romano inadvertently gave hope to tree museums everywhere, as I am once again determined to get grafting down. Grafting season is open, and in the spirit of Elmer Fudd, those twees are gonna get scwewy.

As an aside, below is Will Egan's Tripod Rod (2006), a prank/retaliatory sculpture made mostly of wood, complete with speech bubble and, well, wood.