Writing and rewriting artist statements throughout my artistic career has pushed me to pinpoint a thread (no matter how minute) that strings all my work together.
Over the past few years, this thread has been my discomfort that comes from living as what I call a “simultaneous dichotomy.” I use this term to describe an object (or person, in my case) that possesses the polar opposite qualities of any qualitative spectrum at the same time. I am simultaneously hubristic and self-deprecating, right and wrong, righteous and worthless.
I constantly fight with myself, struggling for progression through confusion and misunderstanding. Pig blood, animals and their leftover limbs, and many other mediums that I utilize are important in that they were at one time imperative to the sustaining of life in a living being, but are now devoid of all use. They occupy a space in limbo, somewhere between functionality and futility, mirroring my own views of myself and my place in society. The eclectic nature of the physical presentation of these pieces speaks to a lack of overall dissatisfaction and a constant need for change in hopes of personal contentment. By using these simultaneous dichotomies as surrogates for myself, I hope to look objectively at my conscious actions as well as my subconscious mind.
My work has always been focused on introspection and the knowledge that can be gained through the deconstruction and analysis of the self. With this show, however, I have taken that introspection, and the resulting aggression and angst that comes from it, and turned it towards the viewer. I aim to attack their intentional (and prideful) ignorance and lack of true empathy. In an age where every child is inundated with the idea that he or she is a unique snowflake, a gift unto the world, it is only through true self-deprecation that we can find objectivity, understanding, and empathy. Only through an acceptance that we are all awful, awful creatures, can we understand that there is only one sad pathetic snowflake, reproduced endlessly into oblivion. And in this acceptance we will find a universal sadness for our brothers and sisters, and for ourselves, that will allow us to create a humble utopia from a prideful dystopia.
Allen Hampton was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He attained a Master's degree in Fine Arts from the University of South Florida in the summer of 2008. Allen has exhibited in much of the United States, as well as overseas, and currently lives and works in Tampa.