art in words
Barbara Kruger's work is interested in power and how it is manifest in daily life. Focusing on issues around feminism and consumerism, Kruger's art conducts a fierce and forensic analysis of relationships between women, men, children and capital. The use of her work by Selfridges is an unexpected collaboration that has drawn mixed responses (for example http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9706).
Kruger's background is in design and she uses this to great effect, hijacking the format and language of advertising and publicity to put forward uncomfortable and often subversive messages. Her work addresses us directly and asks unflinching questions. Perhaps the first of which is, can we trust the messages that are fed to us in the manner Kruger uses?
In my own work I have adapted Kruger's style (replacing her trademark red with Selfridges' trademark yellow). I AM NOT FOR SALE asks the viewer first to consider who is speaking? The artist? The piece itself? Or a voice representing the individuals in the found image? There are no right or complete answers.
More on Barbara Kruger can be found at http://www.barbarakruger.com/