New York artist Kalen Hollomon creates disruptive collages exploring commerce, fashion, gender identity and the taboo through everyday images. His work examines “the ever-changing relationship between subject and object.”
“I am always concerned with what lies beneath the surface.
“I hope to create conversation that is rooted in questions related to learned social rules, identity, the subtext of everyday situations and perception. Above all, I try to capture a sense of romance in images that are spontaneous and slightly unnerving.”
Hollomon’s collages juxtapose images of sports stars with fashion models and porn actors, celebrities and brand names with down and outs and environmental disaster, porn with the utterly mundane.
Hollomon photographs his collages on his smartphone and shares them via his Instagram account. He has a following of over 100,000.
All subversive art is ultimately subsumed by the establishment it attacks. Hollomon’s success subverting the medium has led to a demand for his work from the very fashion magazines and brands he satirizes—Gucci, Calvin Klein and Vogue have all commissioned him or used his work.
His most recent project Fortune Portraits combines pages from porn mags taped over with happy, predictive tidings from fortune cookies.
Sayings like: “Business is a lot like playing tennis; if you don’t serve well, you lose,” “Expect much of yourself and little of others” and “Financial hardship in your life is coming to an end!” are plastered across wet-lipped young models who look directly (and suggestively) at the viewer creating a false sense of sexual intimacy and arousal. In the same way the fortune cookie promises some false good tidings to whoever happens to read it.
Hollomon describes the Fortune Portraits as being about “open-ended questions, seduction and desperation, both the wild unknown and the cliche, false promises and first impressions.”