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Barbara Kruger

Artist 147

Barbara Kruger Identity within American Popular Culture Untitled (your body is a battleground), 1989

Barbara Kruger (born 1945) is an American collegiate and conceptual artist.

Most of her work consists of black-and-white photographs, overlaid with declarative captions, stated in white-on-red Futura Bold Oblique or Helvetica Ultra Condensed text.

The phrases in her works often include pronouns such as "you", "your", "I", "we", and "they", addressing cultural constructions of power, identity, and sexuality.

Addressing issues of language and sign, Kruger has often been grouped with feminist postmodern artists.

She uses the techniques of mass communication and advertising to explore gender and identity. Much of her work pairs found photographs with pithy and assertive text that challenges the viewer.

Her method includes developing her ideas on a computer, later transferring the results (often billboard-sized) into images.

Examples of her instantly recognizable slogans read "I shop therefore I am," and "Your body is a battleground," appearing in her trademark white letters against a red background.

Much of her text calls attention to ideas such as feminism, consumerism, and individual autonomy and desire, frequently appropriating images from mainstream magazines and using her bold phrases to frame them in a new context.

Kruger has said that "I work with pictures and words because they have the ability to determine who we are and who we aren't."

A larger category that threads through her work is the appropriation and alteration of existing images.

In describing her use of appropriation, Kruger states, “Pictures and words seem to become the rallying points for certain assumptions. There are assumptions of truth and falsity and I guess the narratives of falsity are called fictions. I replicate certain words and watch them stray from or coincide with the notions of fact and fiction.”

Today’s focus is on her work “Untitled (your body is a battleground)” 1989 which was in support of legal abortion. It included a woman's face bisected into positive and negative photographic reproductions, accompanied by the text "Your body is a battleground."

It’s crazy considering how now in 2019 exactly 30 years later this is still a hot topic of debate in America


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