The Perfect Art for the First Day of Spring


We made it, you guys! The Vernal Equinox is upon us and it’s officially the first day of spring, so break out the short shorts, erect a pagan temple, put on some Donna Summer or whatever it is you do to celebrate. We’ve been basking in spurts of unprecedented warm weather nationwide. To help deter worrisome thoughts of climate change implications, we’ve made you this happy-happy, blooming arrangement of art that reminds us of springtime. From Botticelli to Koons, take a peak in our slideshow and let us know if we missed someone in the comment section.

Sandro Botticelli’s 1482 Primavera (Allegory of Spring) is one of Western art’s greatest oldies hits. Venus and Cupid are front and center as mythological figures frolic in the orange grove. Looks like some party!

For those of us who have a love-hate relationship with Jeff Koons’ art, it’s impossible to hate any versions of his glorious, forty-three foot tall Puppy (1992), blooming in patches of flowers. Spring kitsch at its best.

Paris-based artist Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy creates her anthropomorphic Lifes of Grass sculptures from soil, wheat seeds and recycled metal. Suspended or poised, they sprout in hopes of making the viewer think about “food cycles in the world, of abundance, of famine” — not ’90s club kid outfits, so stop it.

Behold, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s 1875 Springtime (in Chatou), and damn does it ever look inviting with its Impressionist field of fluffy grass and wispy flower buds. Don’t you just want to go there, now, and take a nice day nap, submerged in all that green and sunshine? Sorry. Go on with your Tuesday then.

Spring has sprung all over Levi Van Velow’s face and head! Are you tingling a bit too?

Let’s go old school for this one: Albrecht Dürer’s A Young Hare circa 1502, because it wouldn’t be spring without bunnies. Ultra Retro Cute Overload?

Mati Klarwein, the artist behind Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew cover, painted the seasons in 1958 and this is Spring, as any self-respecting pagan can clearly tell by the signifiers, like that stack of eggs for the Equinox feast. We’re really feeling that headdress right now. It will go well with the short shorts.

While you can’t really run through the fields of Bruce Munro’s electric-flower-bulb installations with your arms thrust open, it’s nice to look at. Ooh. Ahh. Techno spring?

Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom was a gift to his brother Theo for the birth of his son. Blooming branches were Van Gogh’s favorite. Lush and lovely. Pretty stuff.

Cy Twombly’s Quattro stagioni, Part I: Primavera, is a more torturous view of spring. It’s light and warm, but there’s tension: flowers fighting for sun rays, a struggle, bright, bleeding swatches. Gorgeous!

Shot back in 1983, Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #131 places the bustier-clad artist in front of a a rather depressing floral backdrop. She looks so vulnerable and exposed here, right? After a winter spent in cozy oversized sweaters, the skin flashing that comes with springy weather can be a bit uncomfortable.

This is the abandoned Massachusetts Mental Health Center, urban decay central. Artist Anna Schuleit decked out the rooms, stairwells, halls, office and swimming pool with 28,000 potted flowers and invited the public for a four-day viewing of project Bloom. Ahh, spring-blooming flowers can really enliven a place… any place.