Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pop Art as a social commentary


I think it’s interesting that Barbara Kruger uses her background in advertising in her artwork. I was looking at some of her work online and she reveals the irony, objectification and backwardness of society's view of women.  One piece has a picture of a beautiful, laughing woman and on top of her face in typed letters it reads, “Not stupid enough,” and around the borders it has written “Not good enough, not skinny enough, not nothing enough and not ironic enough.” I think she’s trying to show how ridiculous and judgmental the world can be, in an ironic way.  She also makes statements about the obscenity of consumerism and how people's priorities are messed up when it comes to material possessions.  In one work a little girl is sticking her tongue out and the caption says, “Money can buy you love.” In another, the caption reads, “I shop therefore I am.” To me, her artwork contradicts the purpose of advertising by reframing society’s perception of women and fighting gross consumerism. Her statements are clear, loud, bold, and down to earth.  I like her work a lot.

4 comments:

Ian J said...

The art we saw in class yesterday was quite interesting, and different. What really interested me was the Cremaster. I honestly had no idea what the Cremaster was trying to show. He had me so confused. But then we talked about how what he portrayed was the exaggeration of silly and seemingly mindless things that were over exaggerated in society. I think what the Cremaster shows is quite accurate and I believe that it does a good job of showing how society can focus on the wrong thing.

Linz A said...

I went home and watched the first episode of Mad Men last night and I see exactly what Mrs. Quinet was talking about. Some of the male characters drove me insane and I was only one episode in! I thought Barbara Kruger's art sent a message that pinpoints the feeling of women when they are treated like by objects men. Especially her use of advertising style where it's not presented in an abstract way. Her art presents a clear message about the way women are treated. I like it too.

Ben Bonner said...

I was reading about Andy Warhol, and he had a similar experience. Warhol was a commercial illustrator before he committed himself to art. I was surprised to see that so much of pop art dealt with consumerism, the reaction against which I had always thought of as being more contemporary. I guess that it isn't really that surprising though given the time period most pop art was produced in. During the Cold War, the glorification of American capitalism would have been an easy target for many artists.

Madeline Davis said...

Post-Prom Blog (Thanks, Ms. King):

After Laura mentioned her other work, I looked up some other pieces by Barbara Kruger and I was really struck by several of her pieces. One piece in particular that caught my eye was the silhouette of a woman sitting down and looking at the ground with pins all over her body and the caption "We have received orders not to move." I was astounded by the overt feelings of female submission Kruger portrayed in 1982 when she made the piece. Although I've witnessed forms of sexism recently, I've never encountered the type of blatant male domination Kruger portrays in her works. Once I think about it, it truly is amazing and disgusting to me that 1982 was not very long ago at all, a mere 13 years before I was born. I can definitely identify Kruger's commentary on consumerism in today's culture, but the sexism pieces really get to me and it terrifies me that people with the mentality of male superiority and control still exist in our society.