Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity
The unorthodox and taboo are thoroughly explored through New York-based artist Kalen Hollomon’s tongue-in-cheek collages, which seek to blur the boundaries of prefixed homogenisation permeating our society. Hollomon's subjects range from subway riders juxtaposed with clippings of cut out nudes and unassuming street-goers superimposed onto Celine, Prada and Chanel advertising, which sell for $300 a piece. “I am always concerned with what lies beneath the surface – with relativity, perception, sexuality and pop culture,” says Hollomon. “My images are reality manipulation, manipulating other people’s identities. The idea of and ability to alter the value or meaning of an image or object by adding or subtracting elements is really exciting to me – adding or taking away elements from something until it becomes the sexiest it can be at that moment."
Emerging from the snap happy iPhone generation, Hollomon cites social media platforms Instagram and Twitter as boosting his star status to a larger more diverse audience (he has 47k Instagram followers and counting), yet he laments the hindrance the likes of Instagram have imposed for their oppressive terms and conditions, “I’ve had accounts shut down and current posts removed for as little as butt cheeks. That being said, if the terms weren’t enforced Instagram would probably turn into the largest filth-filled virtual Las Vegas known to man – sex, drugs, genital warts, gambling, guns and prostitution”.
“I’ve had accounts shut down and current posts removed for as little as butt cheeks”
What is your favourite quote about America?
Kalen Hollomon: There are two: “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between” – Oscar Wilde
“Orville Redenbacher couldn't be more buttered” – Mac Dre
What three words define the States today?
Kalen Hollomon: WTF.
Whose face should be on the $100 bill?
Kalen Hollomon: Of course it would have to be a woman, a celebrity. Maybe Beyoncé or Matt Damon.
Who gave you your first break? Do you still talk?
Kalen Hollomon: My first break was doing a job for Vogue magazine’s Instagram feed. Daniel Arnold and Andrew Young were simultaneously pushing my name to their contacts there so I owe it all to those guys. Jaime Walters has been instrumental in the progress of my paintings. I don’t talk to any of them unless I absolutely have to.
When and where you the most happiest?
Kalen Hollomon: Four years ago, floating face down in the Mediterranean like a dead body. Allowing my body to relax and become one with movements of the ocean waters.
What high school clique were you in?
Kalen Hollomon: I was in the skateboarding clique.
What smell do you associate with the city of your birth?
Kalen Hollomon: My friend Tiffany S. once told me the air of her hometown, Durango Colorado had an overwhelming and inescapable scent of semen. She didn’t like that. I was born in Arcata, CA and lived there for a short time, but I distinctly remember the smell of early morning ocean fog, buckwheat pancakes, fresh cut redwood trees and burning wood.
You can follow Kalen on Instagram @kalen_hollomon
Follow Charlotte Harding on Twitter here @hydeaway_