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In May, Vogue declared Instagram "the world's most talked about new art dealer," arguing that galleries are experiencing an unprecedented surge in sales from posting artists' work on the social network. While Instagram remains a tool for discovery, whether for clothing brands or visual artists, it has without a doubt become its own marketplace.

Nike Air Max 1 Black Friday US, Collage artist Kalen Hollomon is not only able to sell his work on Instagram, he's used the platform to build a community of engaged fans and get covetable commissions. This year, he's Capsule New York's Spring/Summer 2015 featured artist, where he gets to employ his signature style of uniting vintage fashion advertisements, porn from the '80s and '90s, and found photography. For the first time, he's bringing his work into the real world with an interactive installation—inspired by “romance, sex appeal, gender and unexpected moments"—that will undoubtedly be captured through the Instagrams of this year's visitors.

Get to know Kalen and visit Capsule New York today and tomorrow, July 21 and 22, at Basketball City in New York.

Nike Air Max 1 Black Friday US What intrigues you about combining the past and the present with your art?
It's the potential to alter perspective or perception of both the past and the present. If it was sexy then, it's sexy now. There's maybe a different presentation, but there's still that feeling, and it's exciting to see past and present interact with each other.

When did you discover photography and what drew you to fashion imaging and advertising, in particular?
The first time I remember really feeling photography was in high school. We shot with film, and my school had a dark room. I found solace in the development process (barf).

Fashion imagery speaks to me in the way that it can serve as a mirror of its time. It's maybe a little more glamorous than most people’s reality, but it's a reflection nonetheless. It's sexy and fabulous, and it's fun picking out pieces I see as timeless in such a fast-paced industry. I'm turned on by designers and photographers making exciting work in that world. Advertisements are so interesting; they're a great example of the power of a word, the power of a brand—how a name on an image can completely change the viewer's perception of that image. All of these things make fashion imagery fun to work with—questioning sexuality, playing with the power of brand names, and lending a new perspective by mixing work from different eras or genres.

Image via Capsule / Installation for Capsule New York by Kalen Hollomon

Nike Air Max 1 Black Friday US When did you start using Instagram? Has anyone ever tried to buy work off you on Instagram, as is the trend these days?
I started using Instagram three or four years ago, and I'm currently on my second account since Instagram deleted my first one. I've sold between 10 and 1,000 pieces off of Instagram.

Do you plan out the scenes on your Instagram ahead of time, or do you just keep magazine cut-outs with you? What's the process of doing the Instagram collages in real life?
I rarely plan the images beforehand. Generally I keep a handful of cutouts with me and keep my eyes open, waiting for the right situation to arise.

Are there any collage artists inspiring you right now?
Although most of the collage I do is tangible "cut and paste," I'm very attracted to moving digital collages, which are reminiscent of old hip-hop album covers. James Ferrell aka @she_skin is making fantastic and raw animated digital pieces right now.

Nike Air Max 1 Black Friday US In drawing out "what's beneath the surface" with your work, how do you aim to do this with men's style and masculinity, specifically?
I try to celebrate masculinity and at the same time make it sexy in a feminine way—a type of non-aggressive masculine sexuality. I'm attracted to achieving this with minimal changes, something as simple as putting a pair of heels on a gentlemen; that can really change the vibe of an image.

Image via Capsule / Installation for Capsule New York by Kalen Hollomon

How do you see yourself re-imagining the pornographic image, in particular? What types of pornographic images do you seek out for your pieces?
The idea, and what I attempt to do, is to insert an uneasy, torrid sexual feeling into an image without making the image actually pornographic. I'm trying to capture a bit of that weird pornography essence in imagery that's visually safe for the whole family, but maybe unsafe subconsciously.

I look for interesting looking actors and outfits...vintage, foreign, the guy next door. I'm most interested in their eyes. There's a real parallel to the faces and eyes of lawyers and auto salesmen in advertising portraiture, especially in small, cheap newspapers.

What are you installing for Capsule New York? Will the piece change in Las Vegas? What's the concept behind it?
In New York I will be installing a life-size interactive sculptural collage environment made up of cut-outs taken from two videos I recently did for Capsule. The Vegas installation will be much larger with more pieces and some props. The viewer can become part of the piece by taking pictures of themselves interacting with the environment, allowing them to savor the experience for years to come. The installation will transform as its occupants circulate, just as people change with every new outfit.

Image via Capsule / Installation for Capsule New York by Kalen Hollomon


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If you had unlimited money or resources, what kinds of projects would you execute?
I would do large-scale public installations. First I would create an exact to-scale floating replica of Alcatraz. Then I would float it out at midnight and anchor it next to the real Alcatraz.