The Rare Graffiti Tree and Other Urban Species from photographer Mitch Epstein

Photographer Mitch Epstein’s work at up Sikkema Jenkins through this past weekend couldn’t come at a better time. Outside, the first really Spring (or perhaps Summer?) weather had set the trees in bloom, and inside Epstein’s homage to New York was similarly alush.

Epstein spent a year photographing the great trees of New York city (as you can see in the detail below NYC boasts the rare urban Graffiti Tree species). The trees, rather than people or buildings, become the focus of the shots.

Unfortunately the trees seem to be trying to kill me right now. All the blooming means seasonal allergies are here, and I am sneezing my head off. Find more information about the show here and more information about Epstein on his website

O Christmas Tree

Thy leaves are so unchanging. The first known “Tannenbaum,” or Christmas tree, song lyrics date back to 1550. Above is the Metropolitan Museum’s beautiful tree and its famous nativity scene. Next on my list is the Rockefeller Center tree, which I can’t wait to see all lit up.

I got the Christmas tree spirit myself this weekend, at the annual NYC Santacon. Taken by the tree at South Street Seaport.

Apollo and Daphne

Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne at the Villa Borghese

It’s a beautiful Spring. Perhaps we should all get chased through the forest and pray to be turned into trees?

I still contend that Daphne gets the better end of the “tree-woman” (see my Huldra’s post) stick in art history, and this statue testifies to that. Bernini tells the myth of Daphne being turned into a tree to escape the God Apollo beautifully, and I remember when I saw it in person at 15 being awestruck by the movement and softness of the sculpture. It is still one of my favorites.