First image as of 1998 when I acquired it. Then the deadwood was edited after the tree got into a reasonable bonsai pot. Third image as I showed it to the internet community.
This raised a major internet war. Reiner Goebel, the bonsai pope of the internet at that time, declared it the most ugly bonsai he had ever seen. I said that this was a compliment as art does have to beautiful, only must be impressive. Reiner at that time said that bonsai was not art. He said that this was back to the neolithicum, Macbonsai. And that I had very evil reasons for declaring it art. The community decided that I was not only a bad artist but a bad person altogether.
Unfortunately this tree never did well enough to ever show it on an exhibit. I would have really loved to show it on Gingko or Noelanders Trophy. It did not grow well and finally lost a real lot of green. I was afraid it would die. Anyway, I fed it like hell, let it grow freely in full sun shine and now it looked healthy enough for a second styling.
Here we are, with a bright future I hope. I don't show my creations on the forums as I used to. I wonder how it would be accepted today. I think people would be rather relaxed about it. Anyway, bonsai has become an art form, even for the old fundamentalists.
If bonsai is an art form then a bonsai absolutely has no need to be beautiful, it has a need to leave a strong impression on the viewer.
Here is what I wrote in 2007 about this tree here on this blog:
This spruce has caused enormous turmoil on a couple of forums. On the IBC gallery Reiner Goebel declared it the biggest misunderstanding in the history of bonsai - right back to the stone ages. This was not always funny. It often has crossed the border to insult. Well, in hindsight it was that last big upheaval of the bonsai fundamentalists. It was only four years ago. But it seems so long ago. Then the fundamentalists did and could believe to be a majority. Times have changed and they are not a majority, that's for sure.
Fudamentalists know the truth, they know what is right and what is wrong. They are utterly inflexible and liberal is a curseword for them. This is a liberal bonsai, that's for sure. Nobody has to like it, but nobody should insult it.
So how much harm has this done to me, to the bonsai world? I think it has done me a lot of good. It has made me famous. Thank you Reiner. And it has changed the bonsai world - a bit. But not into the direction that Reiner thought of."