Knock on Wood: A Senior Surreal Photo by Morgan McLain-Smith (2015)
Everything is turning into wood. My piece shows a seemly normal street receding into the background. The distant road however, as well as the road to the right, has gained a woody texture that appears to be spreading and creeping towards the viewer. In the foreground, an apple is perched on a tangle of branches. It has been cut to reveal a wooden interior. This piece was created using Photoshop. I used various black and white filters, as well as layer masks, to make the combination of the various objects seem more natural. I used the perspective warp tool to align the wood texture with the road and add additional texture to the branches in the foreground. I used digital painting techniques to enhance some of the cracks in the road as well as construct the branches in the foreground.
I created this piece to represent the conflict between our modern reality and our idealized view of the past and nature. As much as we benefit from modern inventions, we look back on the past as a simpler, more natural, and sometimes, even healthier time. For this reason, the apple, which evokes the more traditional ideas of fairytales, is colored red to represent our desire for the idealized past. When its surface is cut away however, it reveals itself to be the tempting fruit we thought it to be, just wood. The road in the background becoming wood represents the idea of replacing the modern with the "natural" but in the process, it destroys the modern world.