Paradise Is Now
Palm Trees in Art
Published by Hatje Cantz.
Text by Bret Easton Ellis, Robert Grunenberg, Leif Randt, Norman Rosenthal.
A fascinating history of the palm in Western art, and the role it plays today in fashion, social media and ecological preservation
For more than 2,000 years, palm trees have been extraordinarily popular in both the East and the West. Regardless of continent, religion or culture, they symbolize wealth and serenity. No other motif conveys this promise of good fortune and happiness as convincingly as the palm tree does. Omnipresent in advertising and social media, it conjures up notions of luxury, the jet set and eternal sunshine. Nor are the visual arts resistant to its visual allure and metaphorical power.
With this rich cultural heritage in mind, Paradise Is Now shows the many ways that palm trees are depicted in contemporary art. What is behind the popularity of this emblem? Which layers of meaning and what kinds of contradictions are revealed in the wake of this artistic exploration?
Alongside essays by Bret Easton Ellis and Leif Randt, the publication features works by John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, Rodney Graham, Secundino Hernández, David Hockney, Alicja Kwade, Sigmar Polke, Ed Ruscha and Rirkrit Tiravanija.