Barbara Kruger  

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"I Shop, Therefore I Am" (1987) by Barbara Kruger

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Barbara Kruger (b. 1945) is an American conceptual artist.

Barbara Kruger is from Newark, New Jersey and left there in 1964 to attend Syracuse University and later, Parsons School of Design. At Parsons Kruger was taught by Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel. As a graphic designer and art director for Harper's Bazaar in the 1960s, Israel introduced Kruger to many photographers and familiarized her with the fashion and magazine sub-cultures. Kruger became an art director and image developer at Mademoiselle magazine.

Much of Kruger's graphic work consists of black-and-white photographs with overlaid captions set in white-on-red Futura Bold Oblique. The phrases included in her work are usually declarative, and make common use of such pronouns as "you," "I," "we," and "they." The juxtaposition of Kruger's imagery with text containing criticism of sexism and misogyny and the circulation of power within cultures is a recurring motif in the work.

For the past decade Kruger has created installations comprised of video, film, audio and projection. Enveloping the viewer with the seductions of direct address, her work is consistently about the kindnesses and brutalities of social life: about how we are to one another.

"Kruger's works are direct and evoke an immediate response. Usually her style involves the cropping of a magazine or newspaper image enlarged in black and white. The enlargement of the image is done as crudely as possible to monumental proportions. A message is stenciled on the image, usually in white letters against a background of red. The text and image are unrelated in an effort to create anxiety by the audience that plays on the fears of society." (Janson, p. 992).

In 2005 Kruger was honored at the 51st Venice Biennale with the "Golden Lion" for Lifetime Achievement. Kruger is currently a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Barbara Kruger" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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