Allen's photographs are inspired by his childhood experiences with pop-up books and View-Masters. He begins his process by cutting figures and images out of illustrated pages of old books and vintage fiction novels. Allen then cleverly rearranges and juxtaposes the forms to create three-dimensional scenes. Next, he carefully lights his subjects and photographs the scenes.
When separated from their original stories, the figures take on fresh roles in entirely new situations. Yet they retain their intended purpose of storytelling. Characters and objects originally created as two-dimensional illustrations are raised from their pages and given new life in three-dimensional space. The figures return back to two-dimensional objects, this time in the form of a photograph.
The work combines the humor of children's pop-up books, the nostalgia of dime novels, and the drama of the stage. Allen's inventive and evocative photographs capture characters and events in mid-action. And the viewer is left to wonder what will happen next.