Debra Hampton

Region: Northeast

Taking on the visual imagery from popular culture aimed at the most 'powerful' members in our society, those at the top of the financial and social chain, I explore the boundaries of our values-tearing them in pieces, mixing them up, and re-assembling them. I select hundreds of images from magazine advertisements as my source. Of specific interest are those obvious signifiers of gendered identity, power and status such as weapons, jewelry cosmetics; contemporary sports paraphernalia such as paintball and hunting; symbols of speed and mechanical prowess including high-tech gadgets, automobile and motorcycle parts; and representations of fertility in the form of flowers, plants, and organic shapes.

I cut away at the advertisements like a skilled surgeon, re-stitching the fragments into a hybrid iconic female that assimilates the disparate pieces. The portraits ultimately embody the duality from which they are assembled reflecting on the culture of excess but offering the option that a deeper and more complex beauty can be created from adaptation and resiliency.

The fragments of our culture's most coveted objects embody these desires and by dissecting and rebuilding them I hope to create new ways of seeing and understanding their significance while placing them in broader social and historical context.