The Illusion is Real

Medfield, Massachusetts multidisciplinary artist Geena Matuson on illusion, storytelling, and her body as a landscape for the surreal.

Geena Matuson is a force to be reckoned with. A storyteller, artist, multimedia director, and producer, she takes on just about any medium to express herself. Under the nom de plume The Girl Mirage, Matuson has woven a multifaceted storytelling universe through complex layers of photographs and neon color schemes, often focusing on her body as the source of conversation. Her work challenges the notion of beauty, performance, and self identity, and works to obscure the truth to “present the mirage of the form in which we are so familiar.”

On her website, Matuson proclaims “the illusion is real” under the candy-colored display of The Girl Mirage. In this antipodean play of identity, she challenges the viewer to examine her visual art as both a realm of dreamscapes and the possibility of the everyday. Her work speaks to the power of storytelling to elicit fantasy. It also examines femininity as both truth and performance, describing her own work as “ephemeral” and a space where “anything I can imagine about myself or my art can exist.”

Geena Matuson, Flower Daze, the girl Mirage

Flower Daze, photo courtesy of Geena Matuson

Matuson graduated from MassArt in 2013 with a BFA in film/video, and has since been collaborating on a number of projects that include multiple digital photography series, such as The Girl Mirage and Flower Daze. She says that the kaleidoscopic texture of her work, tangled in colorful shadows, evokes a sense of synesthesia and humor. Other projects include her series of “fauxmercials” and a haunting black and white 16mm film, Cemetery Writer.

Geena Matuson, The Girl Mirage, Propaganda

The Girl Mirage, Propaganda

Hidden within Matuson’s work is a playful sense of wonderment with the world around her, a keen eye for making the seemingly mundane seem mystical and vibrant. “I went into filmmaking because I wanted to be able to combine the ability to tell stories with making things that are visually accessible,” she says. “As a kid, I always wrote stories and for some reason I didn’t go to school for writing; I went for art.” Despite not getting along with any of her classmates (which she jokingly blames on her Type A personality), Matuson graduated with honors and continues to use film and digital media as her primary source of creation.

Geena Matuson, The Girl Mirage, Lemonhead

The Girl Mirage, Lemon Head

Matuson resides in Medfield, Massachusetts, and sits on the board of trustees for the Medfield Memorial Public Library, helping to promote technology and media education. This summer she’s traveling to Israel where, as a recipient of the Masa Israel Grant, she has a teaching fellowship to teach English as a second language and continue to focus on her own work. “I feel so inspired to create all the time. I am interested in so many mediums,” she says, “and it just means that I can express myself continuously through art and language. It really means that I am never bored.”

Geena Matuson–multidisciplinary artist
Medfield, Massachusetts
Top image, Liar, Liar (Curtains on Fire), image courtesy of Geena Matuson
Janet ReynoldsThe Illusion is Real

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