Age: 44
Nationality: American
City of residence: New York
Profession: Artist

With his photography collages combining high fashion commercials with bondage, porn and pop-culture imagery, Doug Abraham, aka @bessnyc4, has become a household name in the world of fashion art and advertisement. From the starting point of him mocking the fashion industry by using imagery from the PRADA, Céline and GIVENCHY campaigns in painful juxtapositions, @bessnyc4 has now turned the institution into the institutionalized: Today he may rightfully proclaim himself the main contributor of these very same campaigns and an Instagram success story with his nearly 108K followers. The art of @bessnyc4 is a prime example of the power of the people in today’s digital world.

I try to make images from images that already exist that change the meaning of the images I use. The institutions define what things are, and people subscribe to institutions to tell them what things are. That is just the reality of commerce. But people can make things whatever they want them to be. 

The former punk kid’s artwork is often interpreted to challenge the Photoshop-ed perfectionism that consumes the fashion market of our time. Ironically, using the same digital tools that airbrush campains into glossy, unrealistic ideals, @bessnyc4 serves to deconstruct them.

The western culture is very binary, so I try not to be black or white, good or bad. Mostly I am trying to break an image up, not necessarily organize it into something clear. I make it compelling, but not necessarily simple.