Uncover: Barbara Kruger

I just say I’m an artist who works with pictures and words.
— Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger was born in Newark, New Jersey, but eventually moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design. It is there that she cultivated her love for art and design. After finishing school she went onto to work for various publications as a designer, such as Conde Nast Publications and Mademoiselle, where she was quickly promoted to head designer. As a designer she was able to create a unique style that she would carry into her art work (Andy Warhol similarly was also influenced by his graphic design background in his art career). It seemed for Kruger the marriage between design and art helped to create her signature look.

Her works embody themes of sex, war, religion, social issues, gender roles, racial issues, consumerism and power. Her early works in the 1970's were predominantly collages. She would piece together found pieces like images from mid-century American print magazines and layer them with texts in an ironic way. That style eventually evolved into what she is well known for: works that use her graphic design skills with her cunningly chosen images and text to deliver controversial messages. Today we can see her influence in art and design alike. Her style can be seen in brands such as OBEY and SUPREME. Kruger's works continue to inspire another generation of artists and designers, making her a seminal female figure in the art world.