Contemporary artist and Syracuse University art professor Sam Van Aken has created the Frankenstein of botany.
A beautiful, delicious, fruit-bearing Frankenstein.
Aken’s most ambitious – and impressive – project is The Tree of 40 Fruit, which is exactly what you’d expect from the name. Seriously.
Through a process of grafting and careful sculpting, he’s created a tree that’s capable of producing 40 different kinds of stone fruit, including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. Though it looks like just your average wood-stemmed plant for most of the year, in spring it blossoms into a captivating canvas of illustrious colours.
“I see the tree as an artwork. I want the tree to interrupt and transform the everyday,” he says about the work, which is as much practical as it is artistic: “Rather than having one variety that produces more than you know what to do with, it provides good amounts of each of the 40 varieties. Since all of these fruit ripen at different times, from July through October, you also aren’t inundated.”
Sixteen of these incredible creations currently exist in museums and art installations across the United States.
The best part: “I would like to create a grove or small orchard of these trees in an urban setting,” Aken says about the future of the project. “These works, in addition to being beautiful and producing fruit, cause one to reconsider the possibilities with food and fruit production.
Check out the video for yourself: