More about Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground)


The Beatles once tried to propagate the idea that money can’t buy you love...

...but living in the age where we are one click away from finding our soul mate/sugar daddy really starts to throw this whole notion of money as a hallow charade into question. Few artists have explored this idea of the psychological powers of money, media, and the self quite like Barbara Kruger. Kruger understands how the media manipulates our perception of the world, so in an attempt to fight fire with fire, Kruger has utilized advertorial aesthetics to shove poignant messages into the viewer’s face.

Kruger created this work in the wake of the antiabortion laws of the late 1980s. Though Roe v. Wade established that restricting abortion is illegal in 1973, this did not stop extreme pro-lifers from trying to pass legislation criminalizing such medical procedures. (And what do you know, they're still at it!). Not surprisingly, protesters took the streets, and in turn, the media and artists like Kruger had a heyday. Kruger produced this work to be used in a visual aid in the Women’s March on Washington, a cry for female reproductive freedom.

Besides the fact the 2016 Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump just stated that women who get abortions should be criminally punished for their actions, it is clear that this battle of reproductive rights is nowhere near over. The fact that any dude can waltz into his local CVS and pickup a pack of Trojans while I am sitting at the pharmacy praying they actually filled my prescription leaves me wondering why something as simple as birth control is such a struggle for so many women. I would like to think we have come a long way, but Kruger’s imagery serves as a memento that this brawl with our bodies will continue to rage on. And while John Mayer would like us to think our bodies are a wonderland, Kruger is here to remind us that the world will never be as sweet and sappy as our pop stars would like us to think.