The Philip J. Steele Gallery invites you November 6-28, 2014 to Allen Hampton's Nihil exhibition. The exhibition will commence with an opening reception Thursday, November 6, from 5-8 p.m. An artist talk will take place the following day, Friday, November 7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Mary Harris Auditorium.
About the artist: Allen Hampton was born in 1982, in Birmingham, Alabama, where he spent the first 23 years of his life. He attained a Master's degree from the University of South Florida, and currently resides in the Tampa Bay area. Allen has exhibited in much of the United States, as well as overseas. Allen’s work focuses on a constant need to confront and understand that which does not make sense. Each piece attempts to present itself as a binary of thought processes. The works are bipolar, carrying within them feelings of extreme importance and utter uselessness. They are fully aware of their potential and impotence. Their only substantial mission is to communicate, simultaneously, each opposite end of their individual spectrum as well as the immense confusion that results from harboring such contradictory views. It is this confusion that parallels Allen’s own existence and impetus for artistic creation.
Statement: Over the past few years, the common thread running through all my work has been the personal 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 constantly fight with myself, struggling for progression through confusion and misunderstanding. I am simultaneously hubristic and self-deprecating, right and wrong, righteous and worthless. But one thing I am not is unique.
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 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 realize 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.