Barbara Kruger (born January 26 1945) is an American conceptual artist. Much of her work consists of black and white photographs overlaid with declarative captions—in white-on-red Futura Bold Oblique. The phrases in her works often include use of pronouns such as "you," "your," "I," "we," and "they."
Much of Kruger's work engages the merging of found photographs from existing sources with pithy and aggressive text that involves the viewer in the struggle for power and control that her captions speak to. In their trademark white letters against a slash of red background, some of her instantly recognizable slogans read “I shop therefore I am,” and “Your body is a battleground." Much of her text questions the viewer about feminism, consumerism, and individual autonomy and desire, although her black-and-white images are culled from the mainstream magazines that sell the very ideas she is disputing.
She juxtaposes her imagery and text containing criticism of sexism and the circulation of power within cultures is a recurring motif in Kruger's work. The text in her works of the 1980s includes such phrases as "Your comfort is my silence" (1981), "You invest in the divinity of the masterpiece" (1982), and "I shop therefore I am" (1987). She 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. The importance of appropriation art in contemporary culture lay in its ability to play with preponderant imagistic and textual conventions: to mash up meanings and create new ones.
For the past decade Kruger has created immersive video and audio installations. 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.
Source: "Barbara Kruger." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 29 Dec. 2010. Web. 4 Jan. 2011.
Barbara Kruger Installation: City University of New York (October 2008)
Barbara Kruger Installation: Lever House, NYC (September 2009)