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Artists Debra Hampton
Debra Hampton (US)

Debra Hampton_Hands I_2017_Magazine cut out, ink, pen, adhesive film, on Canson black paper_49 x 49 cm_19 x 19 in_800.jpg
"Hands I" 2017, Magazine cut out, ink, pen, adhesive film, on Canson black paper, 49 x 49 cm, 19 x 19 in

At a time when we are bombarded daily with the impossible task of filtering and decoding an onslaught of visual information from every social and material facet of our lives, Debra Hampton’s frenetic collages seem the perfect fusion of creative output and cultural commentary. Her subjects, meticulously assembled from thousands of cut-up advertisements, capture the conceptual and literal essence of a frenzied and transformative culture on the brink of constant destruction and rebirth.

In each work, Hampton includes modern-day emblems of power by appropriating imagery from fashion magazines, order-by-mail catalogs, and anthologies of patriotic keepsakes all of which represent society’s most coveted and desirable objects.

The casual viewer is rewarded with a dizzying selection of symbolic images sliced up almost beyond recognition—dissected beauty products, flying motorcycle wheels, exploding bullets, youthful bodies, wooden rifles, gold chains, splattered ink and hand-drawn organic shapes—while patient appreciation reveals the emotional and conceptual tenor of the juxtapositions. These elements under the scrutiny of Hampton ultimately culminate in lusciously dark and powerful female forms who appear at once heroine and victim of their materialistic obsessions.

Along with a special two-panel double portrait diptych which is her largest piece to date, the exhibition also unveils an exciting development in Hampton’s work, a new series of still lifes. Having long been intrigued by the use of codes, hidden meaning, and layered symbolism throughout art history, Hampton's experimentation in this revered tradition seems like a natural evolution. These playful and richly textured works pay homage to their forerunners and contain the emblematic counterparts used to imply morality, excess and decay but with an undeniably contemporary twist. Using present day iconography and unorthodox technique Hampton takes the genre to the next level.

Debra Hampton was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles and currently lives and works in New York. She holds a B.A. in Art History from California State University at Fullerton and an M.A. from New York University. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad including the National Academy of Art, NY; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; Queens Museum, NY; Priska Juschka Fine Art, NY; as well as art fairs in Paris, London, Berlin, New York and Miami. Her work belongs to several prominent collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Frederick R. Weisman Foundation in California, and Trierenberg Holdings in Austria.
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