Commentary Below is Excerpted from Smithsonian Magazine‘s Barbara Kruger’s Artwork Speaks Truth to Power:
Even if you don’t know the name Barbara Kruger, you’ve probably seen her work in art galleries, on magazine covers or in giant installations that cover walls, billboards, buildings, buses, trains and tram lines all over the world. Kruger takes images from the mass media and pastes words over them, big, bold extracts of text — aphorisms, questions, slogans. Short machine-gun bursts of words that when isolated, and framed by Kruger’s gaze, linger in your mind, forcing you to think twice, thrice about clichés and catchphrases, introducing ironies into cultural idioms and the conventional wisdom they embed in our brains.
I Shop Therefore I Am, (1987), one of Kruger’s most famous works, makes a pointed critique of our consumer culture. Read more about the life and work of Barbara Kruger at the link above.