Kalen Hollomon’s Bodybuilders

Published in Issue 20

“I will find an image in a magazine or a book that speaks to me and I’ll cut it out and have it with me. I’ll usually have between one and five in a folder in my pocket. And when I’m out in the city I wait until I come across a situation that works with one. And I’ll get super excited and pull it out. It’s just waiting for the two worlds to come together.” 

In the early days of this publication, Kalen Hollomon spoke to our editor Whitney Mallett about his process of live-collaging on the streets and subways of New York. In the six years since we last spoke, Hollomon has gone on to create art for fashion brands like Gucci and Calvin Klein. The initial success of Hollomon’s work is owed to its sense of humour and the public’s tireless enjoyment of ridiculing the fashion world. It’s no surprise his most-liked pieces on Instagram are his collages that depict the Kardashian-Jenners as cross- eyed. Hollomon’s practice has always hinged on its simple, unexpected composition— eyes glued on a celebrity face, high heels held in front of a man on a subway, a Louis Vuitton label pasted overtop of lesbian porn. 

While Hollomon’s satisfaction in seeing two worlds come together remains, his most recent creative project is about taking one thing away. His new series, Erased, doubles down on the artist’s talent for sourcing imagery, featuring a collection of amateur flex portraits of female bodybuilders from the 90s. Intrigued by the carpet-stained rooms, and peculiar objects in the background, Hollomon shifts our focus to these banal environments, once afterthoughts. Traces of strong women are left behind on these odd backdrops. The result is eerie, and unexpectedly moving, suggesting the undermining of women’s progress.-CM