details to come

Art world shocker: Art Guys confirm Menil Collection plans to remove controversial tree project

Art world shocker: Art Guys confirm Menil Collection plans to remove controversial tree project

News_The Art Guys_marry a plant
The Menil Collection acquired the controversial Art Guys' piece in late 2011, sparking a heated debate within the local art community. Photo by Everett Taasevigen

With the recent arrest of Picasso tagger Uriel Landeros, it's already been a week of surprising art news . . . but no one saw this coming.

As the Houston gallery scene kicked off the year's first batch of openings, Glasstire reported Friday night that the Art Guys' controversial Art Guys Marry a Plant piece will be removed from the Menil Collection.

The artist duo sent this note to the Texas art website:

The Menil Collection has decided to remove “The Art Guys Marry A Plant”  from their collection. Tentative plans are to remove the tree and plaque and return them to us soon, perhaps sometime next week, although the specifics have not yet been determined.

We offer this news to you without further comment. We have nothing further to say right now.

Thank you.

Michael Galbreth
Jack Massing

Known for their often comedic take on contemporary conceptual art, the Art Guys married a live oak tree during a large public ceremony in June 2009.

While the piece drew ire from various corners of the art community over issues of marriage equality, controversy peaked in late 2011 Menil accepted the live oak into its renowned collection. After Devon Britt-Darby's counter marriage and a public dedication ceremony at the Menil, the tree was nearly destroyed by an unknown vandal.

"Wow," posted Britt-Darby on his Facebook wall Friday night. "Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow."

A representative for the Menil could not immediately be reached for comment.

Keep checking CultureMap as more details surface.