Barbara Kruger

From dropping out of art school to being copied by Supreme, Barbara Kruger is the queen of NYC cool.

Recognise this iconic design? Bold Futura font on a fire engine red setting.

Barbara Kruger was born in 1945, she dropped out of art school at 19 and started working as a graphic designer at Condé Nast. The cut and paste style she learned there followed her into a career as a visual artist – and earned her a few admirers. 

Untitled (If you're so successful, why do you feel like a fake?), Barbara Kruger, 1987

Supreme caught Barbara Kruger's attention after suing another brand for copyright infringement. Barbara responded by calling them “a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers.” She sees intellectual property as an extension of the consumerist culture that her own work satirises. 

For us in 1981, 83 showing your work was about being part of the discourse… I thought well if my work is developing this commodity status I had to address it.

Barbara Kruger's radical statements on consumerism, patriarchy, and violence are evergreen. Her advice  – “don’t believe hype…that kind of delusion can injure us psychically and dampen our work.”

Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground), Barbara Kruger, 1989

Untitled (You are a very special person), Barbara Kruger, 1995

Untitled (You construct intricate rituals which allow you to touch the skin of other men), Barbara Kruger, 1981



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