Giant tree grows in Parisian museum

tree sculpture
© André Morin <em>Henrique Oliveira, Baitogogo, 2013 </em>

This glorious tree sculpture was on display in Paris's newly re-opened Palais de Tokyo Museum. Created by the Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira, it is a combination of the urban and organic coming together.

Filling an entire room, the massive piece is made out of tapumes, wood taken from hoardings at construction sites. By using these materials, he is making some very specifically Brazilian references.

Henrique Oliveira, Baitogogo, 2013
The pieces evoke memories of the favelas where the disparities between the rich and poor in Brazil are most obvious. The piece is "a metaphor for the favelas’ organic growth, thus revealing the dynamic decay of São Paulo’s urban fabric". He uses the essence of this huge, complex and sprawling city as inspiration and literally raw material.

The piece seems to take over the huge exhibition room at the museum. Its arms are wound around the supporting pillars and look organic in the way they make the building come alive. But the sculpture also reminds one of the mystery of the tropics and rain forests and the Amazon.

Henrique Oliveira, Baitogogo, 2013

According to the Palais de Tokyo,

The artist draws inspiration from medical textbooks, amongst others, and particularly from studies of physical pathologies such as tumors. Through a formal analogy, these outgrowths evoke the outermost layers of the bark of a common tree.

Giant tree grows in Parisian museum
This giant tree sculpture is made of Brazilian wood in a Parisian museum.

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