Vanessa R Thompson never listened when her mother she told her to stop playing with her food. She grew up in the suburbs of Connecticut on a steady diet of 1980s horror films and feminism, seasoned with a dash of disordered eating and splash of punk. Now working out of Salem, MA, she uses items of consumable comfort; food, ephemera, and toys, in her analog photographs that range from abstractions to absurdities. Her work peels back their symbolism, leaving nerve endings exposed.

Vanessa R Thompson received an MFA at the Art Institute of Boston in 2005. She uses a collection of vintage film cameras in her home studio populated by an army of creepy dolls, her three legged dog and and cranky black cat.