Phomohobes are Jason Cawood and Colby Richardson, collaborating primarily in paper collage since 2012.
Phomohobes draw from a collected archive of found, cut-up images to create works that exist within, while still remaining resolutely at odds with, the history and practice of traditional collage. The images they re-assemble are predominantly drawn from pre-1990 commercial sources and have thus outlived their utility in consumer culture. This chronological distance creates space for the images to be read in quotations, as “ideas” of images, sufficiently removed from their initial function as face-value representation of desirable objects or aspiration ideals. When combined together as collages, the cut-out images present an ambiguous, cryptic agenda, but they do so assertively. The collages often take shape as garish, ornate and perverse juxtapositions of mid-20th century aesthetics, ancient Egypt, science, glamour, beauty products, body parts and masculinity. These recurring themes create an insular world of open-ended symbology, where much of the interpretation relies upon what the viewer brings to the work. The combination of recent and ancient history has a leveling effect, implying that its possible to find a mythical quality in all facets of human culture (even the most base and vulgar) not just the things we typically recognize as sacred or valuable.