Huffpost Arts

Andreco's 'Philosophical Tree' Battles Smog With Paint (PHOTOS)

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Flickr: Andreco
Flickr: Andreco

Earlier this summer our hearts melted before "Wendy," MoMA Ps1's 56-foot high structure wrapped in blue titania nanofilm that absorbs airborne impurities... we know how New York air tends to get exhausted. Now it looks like "Wendy" may have met her match in a Bologna painting that matches the installation in aesthetics and ecological benefits.

Italian artist Andreco created a red-colored painting with a green spirit entitled "Philosophical Tree." The 59-foot piece uses photocatalytic paint that absorbs mono-nitrogen oxides, known as smog to us liberal arts majors, from the atmosphere. According to "The Verge," "every square meter painted is like taking eight cars off the road." It ain't easy on the eyes either, with its clean geometric forms creating a "tree of knowledge" that is edgy and folksy all at once. The piece was created as part of the Frontier Project, which aims to highlight and explore the influence of street art on the international contemporary art landscape.


Andreco's piece is reminiscent of an early summer gem from Manila, one of the most polluted cities in the world. Finnish artist and filmmaker Tapio Snellman used smog-eating paint called Boysen KNOxOUT to spruce up the city's visuals and its air supply all at once.

While the prospect of air-cleaning paint sounds like a dream come true, the pigment may not live up to its promise. According to a 2010 study by the UK's Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, it remains unclear whether photocatalytic paint actually has an effect on pollution. While studies in China and Italy have reduced the air's smog up to 50 percent, results from UK trials have been inconclusive. Until another study is conducted we're taking a tip from Boysen paint Vice President John Ongking: "The best solution is to reduce pollutants coming out of our cars."

Smog-eating paint... do you think it works? Let us know your theory in the comments.