Arango’s first Holy K cereal box was conceived as a humorous critique on Kellogg’s Special K cereal. Special K is advertised as a healthy cereal choice to keep fit but its nutrition facts read differently. Instead the cereal is filled with many artificial ingredients. This wholesome contradiction inspired Arango to create a monochromatic object stripped of all synthetic colors, hence the Holy. The Holy K cereal box became a minimalistic black and white paper box packed with organic cereal prepared by him.
Arango was interested in the strong link that cereal had to religious beliefs. In fact cereal as a consumer product originated at The Seventh-Day Adventist Church by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. He was one of the founders of the Adventist church health work; where he taught the churchgoers the importance of being vegetarian and eating wholeness foods. Through these workshops he developed the breakfast cereal that then led to the founding of Kellogg’s by his brother William. But soon after Kellogg’s was introduced to the market, William altered its ingredients for financial gain. Arango was fascinated by this concept of corrupted pureness for profit and how it resembled religious institutes.
Soon after Arango made his first Holy K cereal box he began his cereal box interventions. For a year he randomly entered various Whole Foods supermarkets, placed five Holy K cereal boxes on their cereal shelves and walked away. These interventions were a way to subtly disrupt the organic and conventional consumer market. The boxes had barcodes from other cereal brands and could be purchased. In one occasion, three hours after an intervention, Arango returned to the supermarket and two Holy K cereal boxes were left. He bought his first Holy K cereal! This strange experience of purchasing his own art soon lead to the Holy K movement.
One component of the Holy K movement was Arango’s cereal box interventions, in which he created cereal boxes fashioned as a parody of the Kellogg’s Special K cereal brand and carried them with him on his journeys.
In 2011, Daniel Arango sold his possessions in New York City and traveled around the world for three years with a portable studio for his project, the Holy K Movement. Once Arango arrived in a city he lived there for an undetermined amount of time and made work influenced by his experiences.
A unique commissioned Holy K cereal box portrait was created. The cereal box became a portrait of the individual and took on their name. The front of the box illustrated the individual, the Nutrition Facts captured information about the individual and the backside of the box became a highly detail drawing.