Unusual Christmas Artist Installations You Should Not Have Missed.

christmas artist installations

There’s so much to see around this time of year. Like crows, our heads turn at every glittery, shiny display. Buildings, balustrades and balconies are wrapped in twinkling lights and street-facing windows proudly display trimmed trees for all to see. But with so many holiday decorations, tributes and installations all over the world, you might have missed some of the most unusual and spectacular global Christmas artist installations, so we have them here for you.

Christmas Artist Installations

Tree by Paul McCarthy (2014)
paul mmcarthy tree place vendome 2014

While many artist installations are the butt of a joke by both the art-savvy and the art-illiterate, few are as memorable as the controversial and disastrous 2014 installation by artist Paul McCarthy in France. Installed at Paris’ Place Vendôme, the minimalistic green inflated sculpture simply titled “Tree” stood 24 meters-tall (79 feet) and was made of green plastic canvas in a form that resembled, depending on who you asked, a Christmas tree, a Brancusi sculpture, or a butt plug.

mccarthy tree being inflated for installationpaul McCarthy-tree installation paris
McCarthy-tree installation

“.It is an abstract work,” McCarthy told French paper Le Monde. “People may be offended if they want to refer to [it as a] plug, but, for me, it is more of an abstraction.”  People were offended and the artist was assaulted, the installation was deflated at night by vandals and then ultimately removed. Coincidentally, sales of butt plugs increased in France after the incident.

paul mccarthy chocolate factory

The tree was created to coincide with the Artist’s solo exhibition, Chocolate Factory but instead turned into a public debacle. Since then, Paul McCarthy’s similarly controversial Santa sculptures holding his “Brancusi Tree” has been displayed all over the world.

photos: The Guardian, Hauser & Wirth, and Artnet News

Fighting Fire With Ice Cream by Alex Chinnick (2016)
artist alex chinnick frozen tree installation
chinnick frozen christmas tree IIHIH

British sculptor Alex Chinnick’s 2016 installation at Granary Square in King’s Cross, titled “Fighting fire with ice cream” represented a giant Christmas tree encased in what looked like a giant ice cube.

Artist alex chinnick in front of his tree
Alex Chinnick stands in front of his “frozen tree.”

Frozen within a block made of transparent wax and resin, the 23 foot tall tree, adorned with 1200 lights, looked as if it were melting into the ground surrounded by a puddle made with 250 kilograms of clear wax.

chinnick frozen christmas tree
christmas tree in ice cube
photos by © Iwona Pinkowicz

Connaught Tree by Tracey Emin (2017)
tracey emin connaught tree at night

The Connaught, a luxury hotel in Mayfair, annually commissions artists to design their Christmas tree. In 2017 they asked contemporary artist Tracey Emin to do the honor.

enim connaught tree daytime

The modern expressionist, who works in neon using her signature scrawl, covered the tree in an illuminated poem written exclusively for The Connaught.

tracey-emin-poem-for connaught-chrismtas-tree
christmas tree art installation
tracey emin christmas tree
connaught tree by tracey emin

Atop the tree – a magnificent 30-foot Norway spruce – sat a glowing angel, a tribute to Tracey’s late mother.

tracey emin angel atop tree
photos courtesy of The Connaught and  Loughran Gallery

My Monument: White Forest (2008-present)
Kathy temin my monument 2008

Australian artist Kathy Temin’s My Monument: White Forest was commissioned by GoMA in 2008. The installation, which remained in the Brisbane museum until 2013, looked as though Dr. Seuss had created a White Winterland.

my monument White Forest temin
kathy temin my monument installation
kathy temin White Forest

Cartoon-like synthetic fluffy white trees populated a forest that combined both the real and the imagined. Made of physical earthly materials, the ethereal wonky structures enclosed one in fantastical world, resulting in a place that almost felt like heaven on earth.

my monument white forestkathy temin white forest

If this installation looks familiar to you, you might have seen Kathy Temin’s White Forest in Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Season 16 Episode 9 – Christmas Chaos – where Kim, Kanye and their kids experienced it.

kathy temin white forest detail
photos courtesy of GoMA and Kathy Temin 

Want to see more creative and artist Christmas Trees? Check our our amazing collection here.

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