barbara kruger and jenny holzer

Essay by j32212High School, 11th gradeA, April 2014

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Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer are conceptual artists that both work pre-dominantly with text as a central focus. Both being American, Holzer and Kruger hold similarities in their use of text as a major component of their art and their objective of communicating public messages. While there are many similarities between these artists such as their subject matter, other factors such as influence and distinct style are what differentiate these artists and contrasts them making them individual and unique.

Barbara Kruger's distinct style consists of black and white photographs often appropriated from magazines and popular sources with bold and striking captions overlaid on top. Kruger's text style often includes the colours white and red in the text type 'Futura bold oblique'. The phrases Kruger uses intend to make a bold statement and usually features common pronouns like 'you, I, your, we and they'. Kruger's style is mainly bold, sharp and aimed at captivating the viewer's eye whilst encouraging them to contemplate the messages the text are trying to convey.

Holzer like Kruger, also worked mostly with conceptual, text-based art. However, while Holzer is known to also appropriate her texts from poets, politicians and others, she originally created her own statements changing her style later in the past decade. Holzer's works did not incorporate the use of appropriated images as often as Kruger's art did. For instance, her well-known series of 'truisms' featured posters of just text that contained bold and provocative statements. Thus, Holzer's 'Truism' series contained bold, sometimes aggressive, contradictory statements that intended to intrigue and provoke thought with a style that was in comparison more similar than Kruger's.

Barbara Kruger worked as a Graphics designer and picture editor on various magazines in the US before pursuing a career as an artist. Therefore, her beliefs were heavily influenced...