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Dawn Hunter
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

I create visual representations of our complex and ambivalent emotional relationship with the messages about gendered identity that are disseminated through popular culture. I am interested in how young females are shaped psychologically through the consumption of mainstream cultural symbols. I analyze narratives of fashion photography and their ability to mold behavior through the symbolic portrayal of models. Utilizing the models as surrogates and stereotypes, I deconstruct their unobtainable status through narratives that question the status quo. The images address political and gender issues while simultaneously serving as personal testimony. Fashion photographers rely on basic shapes in set design and model positioning to create a sense of harmonious balance that discourages viewers' interrogation of the message behind the image, I use techniques to achieve the opposite effect-discordant messages, tension of shape, and psychological unrest.

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