Soil: A Senior Surreal Photo by Parker Malachowsky (2014)
In my surrealist piece, I illustrate the transformation of metallic structures into living creatures. Within a web of iron sheets and edges, a fantastical garden is formed. A twisted, iron rod wiggles out of the mouth of an abstract chameleon establishing the top of the soil. Junkyard scraps jab into this tongue divide - some of which are topped off with a cap of vibrant petals. Among them dance the bent neck of a bizarre roadrunner like bird. The misshapen lines that define the work were accomplished using Photoshop's wave effect. To yield an extraordinary feel, I utilized Photoshop's oil paint filter on nearly every photograph. Because the piece was assembled using multiple pictures and textures, the pen tool was immensely helpful in forming the selections and juxtapositions. To match color and adhere to a unified scheme, I adjusted saturations and contrasts. The making of this composition was a testament to the tremendous capacity of Photoshop's effects and filters.
With this piece, I was exploring the cyclical nature of life. The infinite sinusoidal curves serve as a representation of a living creature: it is born; it grows; it withers; it dies; and then is incorporated into the Earth, allowing for the creation of new life. I relied on depictions of more bizarre animals (i.e. the chameleon and the roadrunner) to lend a dream-like feeling to the composition. By combining living creatures with metal parts and textures, I wanted to play with the idea of repurposement. Especially in terms of living beings, death is but the beginning of a new existence and the accompanying justification. Because my piece connects living nature with rusting structures, I chose an accented analog color scheme (which brings together greens, oranges, reds, and purples). I felt these tones created a steampunk-Garden of Eden vibe. The goal of the work was to prompt the viewer to consider the mysticism of creation and the boundlessness of life.