Could a red ant be a purple cow? About 500 red ants enter theater De Lawei in Drachten, The Netherlands. The ants were painted on the road by artist Henk Hofstra and form part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary. Each ant is three meters in long and two meters wide. All ants come together at the square in front of the theatre. On the facade of the building some synthetic ants were added.
This work is a variation of one of the earlier works that Hofstra gained a lot of attention with — the so called Water is Life project. For this project Hofstra painted the Moleneind, a 1,000 meters long street in the city of Drachten, completely blue, which led to an absurt and inspiring experience art work. Other projects of Hofstra include among others the Art Eggcident (painted fried eggs on the streets of Leeuwarden), and the Credit Crisis project in Rotterdam.
Hofstra’s work is very well suited for the age of city branding, as he creates the purple cow effect as described by marketing guru Seth Godin in his Purple Cow book. To attract visitors to a place wherever it’s located one should do something remarkable, according to Godin. The red ants painted here do probably work as a purple cow.