Barbara Kruger is one of my all time favorite artists. She uses collage and typography to declare messages about consumerism, culture, and sexuality. I am really intrigued by her concept that melds the power of advertising and using that medium to effectively deliver critical messages.
Kruger pairs found photographs with text. Her process begins on the computer, and eventually is transformed into often billboard sized signs that are displayed in galleries as well as in city streets and even inside shops. The image below shows a three year collaboration with Selfridges, which is a very fancy and massive department store in the UK, of which there are four locations.
Her work is considered to be part of the “Pictures Generation” which is a label that has been attached to a group of artists during the 70’s and 80’s who appropriated pictures in their work. This group included painters and photographers among them were artists such as Cindy Sherman and Jenny Holzer, two artists who are often associated with Kruger for their reflective critiques on society through photography (Sherman) and typography (Holzer).
Barbara Kruger’s work has always resonated with me. It’s simple and effective (like many successful marketing ideas) and carries an immediacy that delivers a bold message. Advertisements are created to quickly produce a WANT for something, Kruger’s work makes you stop and think about all of the images you are bombarded with daily, and her works holds up today as we live in an even more aggressively consumerist society.
To learn more about Barbara Kruger, and to see more of her work, please visit her website!