Fallen Fruit Biography

Fallen Fruit is a collaborative art initiative first conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young as a way to map the growth of fruit trees over public property in Los Angeles. The project seeks to use fruit as a lens by which to examine public spaces, social relationships, and the wider politics of property through participatory events including public fruit jams where the public are invited to join in a communal jam-making experience. 

Other activities include fruit parks, nocturnal foraging, neighborhood fruit tours, public fruit meditations, and fruit tree adoptions. These participatory events were conceived as a way to use participation and engagement to reframe complex socio-political issues in the wider community and renegotiate the boundaries of public and private space at the edge of darkness. 

In 2013, Matias Viegener left the project, but the collaborative work has been continued by David Burns and Austin Young. Born in California in 1960, Burns completed his BFA in 1993 from the California Institute of the Arts and later earned an MFA from UC Irvine in 2005. Burns’ work has always been centered around relational knowledge and systems of meaning-making. He consistently uses non-precious materials and found objects in his artworks as a way to render contextual reconstructions of what we think we already know.  

Austin Young heralds from Reno Nevada and spent his formative years studying at Parsons in Paris. Young’s foundation in traditional portrait painting led him to a successful career in portrait photography.

He is well known for his trademark style that uses pop-culture iconography to produce striking and unapologetic images that defy social constraints. 

The project has since diversified to include serialized public projects and installations in cities all over the world. Fruit has remained a central vessel in the project and remains the artists’ principal material media from which Burns and Viegener produce photographic projects aimed at reimagining public interactions in relation to the margins of urban space, systems of community, and narrative real-time experiences. 

These collaborative projects culminate in Fallen Fruit’s photographic and visual work, taking the form of an ongoing series of narrative photographs, wallpapers, videography, and everyday objects that come together to reflect and explore the complex socio-political implications of our relationship to fruit and the wider social world around us. 

Recent projects have focused on socio-historical controversies surrounding museums and archives by reinstalling permanent collections through syntactical relationships of fruit as the subject. Fruit is always used as the common denominator in Fallen Fruit’s projects, and as a way to help audiences see t

For Burns and Young, everybody is a collaborator in their own right and plays an integral role in making something meaningful and special. Artwork for these artists has a “resonant effect” and fruit is an ever-relevant subject that remains “always political”. Fallen Fruit takes “fruit” as a universally symbolic and multifaceted subject, object, and aesthetic entity. Through their photographic projects, Burns and Young explore themes of place, connectedness, citizenship, and generational knowledge. 

Fallen Fruit has received great acclaim and has been recognized by a number of established media authorities including Conde Nast, ARTnews, the New York Times, and LA Confidential.