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

A spaghetti squash explodes with color. Maciek Jasik does not reveal his technique for making produce expel colorful smoke. Maciek Jasik
A cauliflowers erupts in a green haze. Maciek Jasik
An eggplant oozes fuchsia. Maciek Jasik
A cantaloupe bleeds orange. The photographer has also punctured and photographed a red pepper, pineapple and winter squash. Maciek Jasik

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.”

More From Smithsonian.com: The Amazing Results of Putting a Light Inside Fruits and Vegetables

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This story is a selection from the November issue of Smithsonian magazine.