Smithsonian

November 2015


(Maciek Jasik) A spaghetti squash explodes with color. Maciek Jasik does not reveal his technique for making produce expel colorful smoke.

These Fruits Explode With Color. Literally.

Artist Maciek Jasik won't share the secrets behind his work, but the mystery is part of the fun

Maciek Jasik responds with the well-mannered evasiveness of a sly magician when asked about this arresting image. Peach-colored smoke really is billowing out of this spaghetti squash, the photographer says, and the trick was accomplished with readily available materials. “But I’m not going to reveal how I did it,” because that would make the picture “100 percent less interesting.” It’s one in a series, “The Secret Lives of Fruits and Vegetableshe has also explored the mysteries of eggplants, cauliflower, a bell pepper and a pineapple—that’s meant to jolt us out of complacency. “The idea is to create a sense of confusion...to reinvent reality,” says the 37-year-old Brooklyn artist, whose enigmatic portraits, still-lifes and landscapes have appeared in galleries nationwide. “It’s an urge to take something mundane and make it strange.”

(Maciek Jasik) An eggplant oozes fuchsia.
(Maciek Jasik) A cauliflowers erupts in a green haze.
(Maciek Jasik) A cantaloupe bleeds orange. The photographer has also punctured and photographed a red pepper, pineapple and winter squash.