The ‘Pictures Generation’ describes a cohort of American artists from the early 1970s, noted for their critical examination of media culture.
The Pictures Generation was influenced by philosophers like Roland Barthes, who’d already raised questions about the notions of originality and authenticity in his manifesto ‘The Death of the Author’. With this, the Pictures Generation started a journey to create art that scrutinised their interactions with popular culture and mass media.
They used various mediums such as photography, film, video, and performance, constructing artworks that harnessed the same seductive and desire-inducing mechanisms they encountered. For example, Cindy Sherman captured images of herself dressed as B-movie heroines, while Richard Prince dissected mass consumerism through his depictions of cowboys sourced from advertisements.