Barbara Kruger: January 26, 1945-****...United States
"I just say I'm an artist who
works with pictures and words."
A true master of juxtaposing images with text is Barbara Kruger. She was educated
at Syracuse University, the Parsons School of Design in New York, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. She first entered
the world of art as a graphic designer at Mademoiselle Magazine. Soon she worked her way up to the Chief Graphic Designer
for the popular publication. She became known in the design industry and was recruited to work for House and Garden,
Aperture, as well as many other publications. Soon, she chose to forge her own path into the world of fine art.
Using her graphic design background as a strong foundation, Kruger layers
found photographs with texts. Her trademark black, white, and bright red posters require the viewer of her art to examine
their own beliefs as they attempt to merge the text and visual components with in their own minds. “I'd
always been a news junkie, always read lots of newspapers and watched the Sunday morning news shows on TV and felt strongly
about issues of power, control, sexuality and race… I think people have to set up little battles. They have to demonize
people whom they disagree with or feel threatened by. But it's the ideological framing of the debate that scares me.”
In the 1990s, she also began to do some work in sculpture.
Beyond being able to create these works within her own mind, Kruger has also
taught these ideas to students at the California Institute of Art, Art Institute of Chicago school, and University of California
in Berkeley. She is far from earning the typical artists income, as patrons have paid over 600,000 dollars for
Kruger’s art has been in galleries and museums all over the world, as
well being installed in bus stations, on billboards, posters, subway terminals, and various other locations. She currently
lives and works out of New York City, New York and Los Angeles, California. As an artist, what is Kruger’s advise to
artists dealing with the complexity of their art? “I think there are lots of ways to make good work.
You can throw big bucks at a project and make what some would call crap, or you can work very modestly with eloquently moving
results.” Also, as most artists will agree, art is about communication, “Do you know
why language manifests itself the way it does in my work? It's because I understand short attention spans…There are
so many moments and works that influence us in what we do. Movies, music, TV and, most importantly, the profound everydayness
of our lives.”