Planet Earth The Industrial Mural Painting Heard ‘Round the Globe
Eric Henn is the 2017 Tnemac Company Inc. “Tank of The Year” award winner and one of the leaders in industrial mural painting. Long before this water tower project, he presented Savannah, GA with an extraordinary urban art piece by repainting a gas storage tank in 1998. What makes the large-scale “Planet Earth” tank so striking is how the imagery pairs so well with the spherical industrial object it covers. In fact, the tank had been painted before to look like a political map, but without atmospheric activity and other details. Henn though, took on a much more challenging view from space, with numerous clouds and even a hurricane covering the continents and oceans of our planet, creating a much more dynamic aesthetic for the public art installation.
Henn’s experience in painting large-scale industrial objects like this guides him through the intensive
process of creating art on such an enormous canvas. It has also imparted intimate knowledge upon him
of the cultural range of America.
“I have a couple hundred [tank murals] under my belt…they range from dolphins down in Tampa, FL, to horses in Kentucky, to apples in Virginia”
Shifting between regions in America, a public artist must stay in-tune with each region’s pulse.
Moreover, each piece must resonate with the town’s political and emotional identity in order to become a true landmark. Savannah, GA, for its size and location, attracts many visitors. With classic architecture, historic sites, a bustling port, and a reputation for beauty, Savannah seems to have global rather than provincial limits to its aspirations. The choice of the planet earth to cover the tank symbolizes this holistic perspective and the worldwide importance that the small city possesses.
Also, the immense “Planet Earth” tank is a statement of inventiveness. Transformed from cityscape blemish to enchanting artwork, the utility gas tank proves that creativity can truly be applied anywhere.
Nearly everyone would agree that the unique tank visually reinvigorates city with beauty, in a manner that carefully walks the line between intriguing and strange.
Performing magic by painting with ropes and rollers on an impossible-to-reach surface that spans 60 feet in diameter and using special purpose paints that last for 30 years and, Eric Henn has given Savannah an impossibly valuable landmark. His ambition parallels the ambition of the city. The ideal of a public artist manifests itself in the “Planet Earth” industrial mural painting. Under this ideal, the town or city itself becomes an entity who is understood by the artist, both of them working together to create a never-before-seen collaboration.