Matthew Geller (American), Woozy Blossom (Platanus nebulosus), 2010-2015. Steel, water, copper, pump.
Planted among the bald cypress trees lining the sidewalk outside 21c Oklahoma City, Matthew Geller’s sixteen-foot-high perforated steel tree produces intermittent mist, engulfing visitors and passersby in its mist and allowing them to revel in its cool, moist air. The fog is in a constant state of flux, sensitive to the slightest changes in wind, temperature, and humidity. Simultaneously eerie, unexpected, and playful, Woozy Blossom transforms the urban exterior of 21c Oklahoma City into an ever-changing, otherworldly environment. The work, which offers a seductive invitation to interact, both complements and disrupts its surroundings: a tree among trees, its industrial materials and mechanics provide material reference to the history of this former factory site.
A noted public artist who lives and works in New York, Matthew Geller is particularly drawn to overlooked or underutilized environments, from private imaginary worlds within brick walls, to back alleys, to sprawling open public spaces. It is in these environments that Geller teases out small fragments of narrative by augmenting or amplifying the raw materials of a given place, asking the viewer to engage both with what was always there, as well as what might be.