Forrest MacDonald


In short I was afraidMay Day

Main Street

Torn Up

Total LossI think I saw a flying monkeyFragmentedImpact
I imaged you there

Smoky Mountains

Strung Up

Sucked InWorst day ever


SidewinderView from my window

Family Farm


View from the top

Sunny Aftermath



Covered up


Rise of the Machines

Detail of KABOOM
In this series, I constructed and photographed miniaturized landscapes of domestic environments exploding that reflect our insatiable appetite for sensationalized images of violence and destruction.

The deconstructed landscapes display the fragile and transitory nature of existence. They are insidiously elegant tempests of transformation. They are violent, instantaneous metamorphoses of discernable elements into chaos that invite the viewer to participate in the fantasy of living through their own death and more, the death of an entire neighborhood or perhaps the destruction of humanity itself.

The work is not only a reflection of my fascination with natural and man made disasters but also a recognition that through telecommunications we are a world audience that is bound by our collective viewing of images of death and destruction from across the globe.

Detached from the outside world and in the comfort of our own homes, we view the tragedies of others, tornados, earthquakes, tsunami's, floods, terrorist attacks, war, nuclear melt downs, famine, fires are all now brought to us in high definition in ever more dramatic footage.

The attempt in my work is to respond to this phenomenon with the creation of grand almost sublime fictionalized photographs of active and violent destruction to inspire wonder and perhaps a touch of fear.

Utilizing double and triple photographic exposures, I'm able to create conflicting perspectives and form a sense of movement or the appearance of chaos. Using a mixture of other photographic techniques such as long exposures, shifts in scale, varying alterations of the depth of field, combination lighting sources such as strobe lights and flash lights. I am able to significantly alter the appearance of my materials and the interpretation of the set.

In my larger works, I use photo shop to digitally combine over 100 of my photographs into eerie surreal landscapes that transition from a dense tracery of abstract debris into distinguishable elements. I use repetition or patterning to contrast the static forms in order to create both a sense of order and confusion. I'm also interested in the juxtaposition of irreconcilable elements in terms of scale to challenge the viewer's perception of what they are seeing. I like to complicate the boundaries between artificiality and believability or sincerity with the representations in the work, which I believe speaks to the complexity of the experiences of photographic images in the 21st century.

Envisioning the wretched as beautiful these works are a play of opposites: repulsion / desire, fear / courage, and order / chaos producing art out of the tragedy of mortality. Perhaps they are an attempt to relinquish my fear of natural and man-made disasters through the acting out of terrifying fantasies. Although these created sets are from my imagination, the nightmare these photographs represent is not far from the images I see on the nightly news or in the movies.