Clément Briend

Now these are some trees with personality.

Know what the problem with trees is? They have no personality; they're just bundles of bark and leafy stuff blending into nature's verdant background.

Now this lumber you'll remember most likely late at night when you hear boughs creaking ominously outside. Rooted in the prized soil of Paris' Parc de Saint-Cloud, home of Marie Antoinette's rose garden, the trees bear faces that are alternately twisted in grimaces, bellowing in anger or frowning in the intensest way possible. The copse of anthropomorphic foliage is freaky enough to make you want to run for a chainsaw.

Photographer and light artist Clément Briend is responsible for summoning this hostile hardwood. He created each huge face, or what he calls a "gargoyle," using several different projectors that he modified to handle large formats. The spectacle has vanished since going up for a brief time in August, but Briend took these photos so we all could be subjected to the disapproving glares of his devilish foliage.

Perhaps parks departments can look into how effective these light gargoyles are versus "Don't Climb the Trees" signs:

Briend gargoyled these trees earlier this year in Phnom Penh:

All images courtesy of Clément Briend.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A crowded street outside in Boston
    Life

    Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

    A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

  2. A woman wheels a suitcase on a platform toward a train.
    Transportation

    In Denmark's Train Dream, the Next Big City Is Only an Hour Away

    A newly revived rail plan could see Denmark’s trains catch up with its reputation for other types of green transit.

  3. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  4. A photo of a refrigerator at a dollar store
    Equity

    To Save a Neighborhood, Ban a Dollar Store?

    Some local governments hope that more grocery stores will blossom in “food deserts” if the number of discount convenience retailers can be limited.

  5. Life

    Are These the Last Vape Shops in San Francisco?

    The city wants to stop the rise of teen vaping by banning the sale of Juul and other e-cigarettes. It could also mean the end of a particular kind of store.

×