Roxy Paine | Steel Arborist | Maelstrom Maker


Librado Romero/The New York Times

I love trees. 

That’s obvious, given at that I have written dozens of blogs that have something to do with the spirit of trees.

And I’ve written about Roxy Paine, too. 

But, being a designer, my love of trees is really about the extraordinary character of how they work. I won’t get into a long-winded overview of that. But I do marvel at how they seem to be designed to organically fill the space — like a rhythmically expanded vortex, they flow out to fill the measure of light and “fullness”.  

I think that Roxy’s work does that. 

Ken Johnson notes, in the NYTimes, “An awesome spectacle awaits visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cantor Roof Garden, which opens for the season on Tuesday: a gnarly thicket of trees and branches extending 130 feet from one end of the open-air deck to the other and rising 29 feet overhead. It looks as if a tornado had ripped through Central Park and deposited its gleanings here. Except the thicket is made of shiny metal rods and pipe: some 10,000 pieces weighing more than seven tons and ranging from three-eighths of an inch to 10 inches in diameter, with larger trunk sections made of rolled plate. It’s as though all that wood had been transformed by a Midas with a stainless-steel touch.” 

These days, I’m not in NYC as much as I’d like to be. In 2007, I was there, working at Girvin | NYC, pretty much half time. In 2008, more like 40% of the time. So far this year, I’ve spent more time out of both offices than ever before, in a melange of places. Nationally, and internationally, I’ve been all over. From Miami to Madison, from London to Dubai. But being there earlier, I was exposed to Roxy’s installations near our offices, next to Madison Park. 

Looking at these, at night, I gazed upward — steel, the tower, to the stars. 

If you’re there, check it out. And I will, too. 

tsg
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