Instagram artist Kalen Hollomon on taking subversive photographs of Anna Wintour and Cara Delevingne

The artist has recently secured work with US Vogue after his photos of fashion magazine cut-outs inserted into everyday scenes became popular on Instagram

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The Independent Culture

Instagram’s got a lot to answer for; everyone thinks they’re a photographer these days. But New York artist Kalen Hollomon really has used the app to skyrocket his career: it’s seen his following rise to nearly 80,000 users, and secured him work with US Vogue.

The 34-year-old California-born photographer has become recognised for his subversive collage work: mixing high fashion advertising campaigns or fashion shoots with cuttings from vintage Seventies porn magazines, or cut-outs of stars like Cara Delevingne, to create a totally new image.

Other artists like Doug Abraham have also used the app to promote their work in a similar way. Hollomon told me from his New York studio: “Instagram has become an amazing tool for photographers to get work out there and get exposure. Before, I didn’t have 70,000 people looking at my work every day, and now I do so it’s amazing.”

 

Hollomon will spend the day travelling on the subway, shooting at fashion shows or on the streets of New York; he carries his collage cut-outs everywhere with him so he’s always prepared for any opportunity, whether it’s putting a pair of Celine heels on a passing cop, or placing a cut-out of Anna Wintour in a rundown fabric store in Chinatown. (In fact, having now worked with Vogue on several projects, Hollomon was only just bold enough to use Wintour’s image: “Maybe I was scared of the wrath!” he admits).

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Hollomon's collage cut-outs have earned him 80,000 Instagram followers

Shooting mainly with an iPhone does attract a degree of disdain from those who don’t consider it “real photography”, says Hollomon. “Yesterday I was doing a job at a fashion show, I had a real camera and my iPhone and I ended up shooting everything on my iPhone – for what I was doing it totally worked. But fighting to the front of a crowd of photographers to shoot on my iPhone, people are like ‘Who is this idiot?’”.

So why use a smartphone to shoot on at all? “It’s really easy, convenient, small, and it’s the aesthetic that people recognise my work in. People know my Instagram work and that’s shot on an iPhone. I’m looking forward to doing stuff with, I don’t like calling it a 'real camera' but a real camera. If I’m working I have to bring a portable charger with me everywhere.”

For more of Kalen’s work visit www.kalenhollomon.com.

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