Inspired by the immediate, experiential quality of pop-up and comic books, Thomas Allen creates illusionistic photographs from imagery lifted from vintage pulp fiction paperbacks. By isolating and removing superheroes, cowboys, and damsels from their original contexts, Allen explores the shifting metrics of sexuality, masculinity, and scientific progress.
Frame dimensions: 12"x12". Print dimensions vary.
Signature: Signed recto
Image rights: Courtesy the artist and FOLEY
About Thomas Allen
Contemporary photographer Thomas Allen began his signature process of repurposing books in college when a professor saw the texts he had cut up (spawned from a childhood interest in pop-ups and dioramas), and encouraged him to seek his MFA. Allen continues to fashion narratives from the books he cuts and folds into three-dimensional vignettes. He uses pulp novels, vintage paperbacks, and textbooks, creating works that tell a story with the subjects of their repurposed illustrations—characters such as cowboys, heroes, detectives, and villains. Allen refuses digital technology, insisting that an image fastened with tape and pins is much more of an illusion than anything created with a computer.
American, b. 1963