Throughout art history the use of language has been used as a way for artists to convey direct messages to an audience, whether that is a large-scale location piece or a work within the white cube. Artists such as Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer and The Connor Brothers have used text as a medium. Noam Chomsky stated that Language is a process of free creation. Which naturally lends itself to the conjuring and release of emotion.
Starting out as a graphic designer for female magazines in the 80’s, Kruger went on to become an art world sensation with her matter of fact critiques of consumerism and desire. By choosing to use mass media imagery that perpetuates stereotypes under, Futura Bold Oblique font - inspired by Constructivist Alexander Rodechenko and, illustrating phrases such as, I shop therefore I am clearly conveying Kruger’s impregnable visual language in creating relatable reflections. This translated within the everyday as Kruger’s pieces have been displayed on billboards, station platforms and other public spaces as well as a multitude of site-specific installations over a variety of mediums including film, projection and audio.
See more of Kruger's work.
After the “Impeach” collaboration with Skateroom company back in February 2020, there has been no slowing down for the powerhouse that is Jenny Holzer. The plethora of new work created is a continuation of the international projections starting in 1996. With a black background and bolded, capitalised text in both white and red, the declaratives, “vote now”, “protect” and “the people perish” are few of many that grab the attention of passers-by. The use of current subjects: voting, the COVID pandemic and abuse of power have heightened Holzer’s aphorisms to a whole new level through consistent input and collaboration towards a seemingly shockproof society.
Explore more of Jenny's latest work.
The Connor Brothers
The art duo that is the Connor Brothers have taken language and storytelling to the masses. Creating their own path on the art market, from their pseudo names and detailed past, to outing their actual identities in 2014 after two years of anonymity. Their seductive pin up and Hollywood starlet illustrations are juxtaposing against quotes such as Oscar Wilde’s, 'I can resist anything except temptation', creating a dry and knowing humour against the 1950’s imagery.
Discover more of The Connor Brothers work by exploring the collection at Hancock Gallery.
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