Hamovit’s practice is equal parts photography and performance. The Los Angeles-based artist subverts masculinity’s historic tendency towards self-adoration and self-centredness, which he calls an ‘outrageous patriarchal oversight’. His work is at once ironic and earnest, reflecting his position as a male artist: both informer and informed, creator and creation.

Hamovit’s images are perhaps better described as ‘scenes’ from a land in-between reality and absurdity. Each scene is first sketched out in detail, sets are built, and actors found from classified ads, before it all comes together in what Hamovit describes as a ‘world adjacent’. 

Rory Hamovit
Rory Hamovit. Dream collaborator: ‘I have always wondered what the experience must have been like posing and portraying yourself for an Old Master painter like Rembrandt, who was as much concerned with their own personality with the work. And the lighting! I’ve just always had a frustrating romanticism with painting, the outside-looking-in feeling. But then again I don’t think I would be having nearly as much fun making artwork as a painter.’

Understanding humour as a unifying human experience, Hamovit skillfully disarms his audience, compelling us to linger and open up to his work. Punchlines don’t land as you might expect though, and the images are a dark and complex kind of entertainment. Hamovit really does have the last laugh. §