Probably the first time I truly failed my parents was when I bought pre-sliced watermelon from Whole Foods. Who the hell did I think I was? It still haunts me.
Recently my friend Elias wrote, “Do you ever wonder if children raised on sliced fruit coming in bowls ready for consumption will know the real shapes the fruits arrive in, when in their natural state? Will there soon be teenagers who think watermelons grow in pink squares and grapes are like gummy bears, but good for you and with more natural juice in them?”
If you have questions like these, worry about failing your parents, or just enjoy cool photos of fruit, please enjoy my interview with SkyFruits founder, Kat Wilson.
1. What is SkyFruits, and when is it going to rain deliciously dangerous mangoes from the heavens?
SkyFruits is an art movement dedicated to re-shaping the context within which we understand fruit in a rapidly industrialized and modern world. Each picture reveals the hidden beauty behind store-bought or handpicked fruit by placing the fruits back in a natural setting.
We are used to seeing fruits sorted out on fruit stands. The individual attention that is given to one fruit in a SkyFruits photograph brings life back into a succulent strawberry, which may have otherwise been overlooked. The pictures also present new perspectives on popularly photographed national parks or iconic landscapes, calling attention to the natural presence of fruit in such locations.
SkyFruits is propagated by its fans and followers, who take pictures of fruit all over the world and send them into the website.
If one day it rains mangoes from the heavens, I will put on a helmet and take some awesome pictures.
2. What can you tell us about the mass commercialization of fruit?
A few years ago, I became disheartened with what I saw was happening to fruits in our society. I saw fruits being sold by the crate at farmer’s markets, and fruits hanging around in smoothie shops waiting to be destroyed, but nowhere could I find a fruit that remembered where it came from. Fruits have gumption, and this orderly process of its commercial distribution was hiding it.
3. How did you come up with the idea to use photography to literally illustrate your point with an art movement?
Of course, it may be the case that some people think camera phones and Instagram cheapens the art of photography. But for SkyFruits, and similar crowdsourcing ventures, the use of social media and camera phones is essential. A huge appeal of SkyFruits is the ease of it, simply taking a picture of the fruit you are eating with your phone, and hashtagging #SkyFruits, or sending it in to our website.
4. What is your favorite fruit? Are you aware that I have some very strong opinions on the subject?
My favorite fruit is the white nectarine. This particular white nectarine was photographed at Harriman State Park a few months, and would have been tasty if a greedy dog didn’t get to it first.
5. Have you received much backlash from the SkyVegetable community?
There have been two posts about which we received a number of complaints from SkyVegetable supporters. The first post was of a ripe tomato in Ithaca. The second post was of a sexy eggplant basking in New Jersey.
6. Why is fruit so important?
Fruits are beautiful. They are colorful and they come in different shapes and sizes. They have fun names and skins and pits and stems and leaves. They taste tangy and sweet and juicy and ripe and look pretty good against the sky.
7. What are UrbanFruits? Can I buy them for triple markup at Urban Outfitters?
UrbanFruits is a newer offshoot of SkyFruits that began a few months ago. Right now, there are only a few UrbanFruits pictures, all in Manhattan. UrbanFruits is dirtier, grungier, and more daring than SkyFruits. It brings to light the sustainability paradox in many modern cities, by pitting fruits against concrete cityscapes. How much do we really welcome fresh, organic products into our industrialized world, and where do we draw the line for sustainable living?
8. What are some interesting places fruit has been photographed?
The National Park pictures are very popular. So far we’ve had Zion National Park, Black Canyon at Gunnison National Park, Rocky Mountains, and the Smokey Mountains. The international following has been expanding as well. We now have Greece, Sweden, and Austria, and I’m really hoping for more from different continents in the future.
9. How do you feel about William Tell?
William Tell, the Swiss hero who can shoot an apple off of someone’s head? I think that if he were alive today I’d ask him to model for UrbanFruits.
10. What would be your ideal future for SkyFruits? Does this end with us living inside a Giant Peach? (I’m not entirely opposed to it.)
As long as we’d have roof access or a balcony to see the sky from, a giant peach would be fine with me, too.
But really, I just hope that SkyFruits keeps on growing. If I could, I would travel all over the world and take pictures of fruit by myself. But since I can’t do that just yet, it’s a lot easier to have a bunch of people send me pictures of fruit from places they go.
If you’re ever anywhere scenic, snacking on a fruit, snap a picture of it and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and join our protest against the seedless bourgeoisie.