Barbara Kruger is an American Conceptual artist known for her combination of type and image that conveys a direct feminist cultural critique. Her works examine stereotypes and the behaviors of consumerism with text layered over mass-media images. Rendered with black-and-white, red accented, Futura Bold Oblique font, inspired by the Constructivist Alexander Rodechenko, her works offer up short phrases such as “Thinking of You,” “You are a captive audience,” and “I shop therefore I am.”
Like multimedia artist Jenny Holze, Kruger uses language to broadcast her ideas in a myriad of ways, including prints, T-shirts, posters, photographs, electronic signs, and billboards. “I'm fascinated with the difference between supposedly private and supposedly public and I try to engage the issue of what it means to live in a society that's seemingly shock-proof, yet still is compelled to exercise secrecy,” she explained of her work.
Born on January 26, 1945 in Newark, NJ, Kruger worked as a graphic designer and art director after studying at both Syracuse University and Parsons School of Design (where she studied under Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel) in the 1960s. Her early career path directly influenced the style her art would eventually take. She currently lives and works between New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others.