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For an artist who relies upon the Earth to create his artistic masterpieces, Stan Herd’s work is undeniably out of this world. As a crop artist, Herd meticulously transforms crops, dirt, foliage and greenery into a sprawling landscape of artistic wonder. These images, or earthworks as they’ve been called, take out massive plots of land, and their sheer scope, not to mention irrefutable detail, is nothing short of mindboggling. Herd got his start in 1981 with a 160-acre portrait of the Kiowa chief Santanta, and for nearly 35 years since, has been transforming the Earth itself with his awe-inspiring earthworks.

Inspired by pre-Colombian drawings found on the desert floors of the Andes Mountains, Herd’s living sculptures have recreated everything from portraits of Amelia Earhart, to the logos of Shock Top and Absolut vodka, to, most recently, a beautiful rendition of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Olive Trees” painting in Minneapolis that required weeks of digging, planting, mowing and landscaping to create the epic work of art that is starkly visible from the air for passengers taking off from the Minneapolis airport.

As the Father of Crop Art, a title bestowed upon him by journalist Dan Rather, Herd’s work has been featured in publications in 30 different countries worldwide. For his earthworks to become a reality, Herd realized early on that it would take more than just his artistic eye and creativity to make these laborious creations take off. “I realized in my late 20’s that to create my monumental earthworks, beyond the design and actual creation of the work, I had to develop skills in public relations, communications, media relations, logistics, and fund raising,” he states on his website.

Herd’s style and works have been so prolific that a 2006 movie called “Earthwork” was made chronicling his one-year sojourn to New York to create his work entitled “Countryside,” a pastoral image of the Kansas landscape on Donald Trump’s Hudson River property. Herd worked with homeless men to help finalize his vision for that famous project, who inhabited the barren, polluted underground railway tunnel that he ultimately transformed into a stunning work of art. Herd’s work is so renowned worldwide that he was commissioned to create one of his signature earthworks in Sao Paulo for the 2016 summer Olympics. Check out more of Herd’s amazing creations below.

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