Art History Thesis: Building Cultural Conversations: Through the Words of Barbara Kruger

Building Cultural Conversations: Through the Words of Barbara Kruger

Thesis Abstract

This paper will focus on the artist, Barbara Kruger, who is a multi-disciplinary artist who started working in the late twentieth century and actively working in the twenty-first century. She built cultural conversations by utilizing photomontage, typography, and appropriated imagery to communicate with her audience. Kruger grew up with key influences such as the 1960s American Feminism movement and later became a pioneer in Feminist art. She was also inspired by artists like Diana Arbus and Marcus Israel. Kruger uses her work to approach subjects like gender inequality, consumerism, power dynamics, and identity. This paper will explore Kruger’s life from her early years, education and influences through a biographical approach. Next, it will focus on her artistic development from mix media to her signature photomontage. Lastly, this essay will explore how Kruger uses her work to critique the masses and institutions through the lens of her work in the 1980s to 1990s. The aim of this essay is to explain how Kruger started and actively continues to build cultural conversations through the influence of her words and artwork.

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