Until last week I had never heard of Barbara Kruger! It seems strange to me that I haven’t heard of her as I have done a lot of work in a similar vein to hers over the years. It seems she has also inspired a lot of other artists, except they were aware of the fact at the time. Trying to find original Barbara Kruger images was quite difficult for one who doesn’t know.
Kruger works with images from magazines and other mass media, over which she collages slap bang phrases of big bold text. She works with themes of power, image and identity, and often in the paradigm of feminism. I am not a feminist, but I do like her work, mainly because I love text, I love typography and I love black white and red as a colour combination. I was shocked to find that large prints, of what appear to be very simple messages in typography made by Kruger, sell for around 50,000 USD! Check out the one below:
This is typical of the early work I have see of this artist, although it was done fairly recently. It seems ironic that the T-Shirt was designed for the large fashion label Gap, and the theme of the design appears to be about consumerism!
The crown image below is one of her earlier works and appears to be a parody of the words advertisers use to make viewers feel that buying their product will make them feel special.
I will search for some of my old image and text collage work and post them here, because I was certainly reminded of them by this gal’s stuff. Because it is such a widely used method, although I like it, I think it would be quite a challenge to give the style a personal identity of ones own. I take my hat off to Barbara though, selling a few words for fifty grand!
All images in this post by Barbara Kruger and retrieved from the websites below on 18th March 2014
Life Without Pain from Artsy
T-Shirt from Dexigner
Crown Image from Art Edu for Kids