- Artist Barbara Kruger’s work is heavily typography-based and expresses a strong point of view, much like the packaged Hyundai Ioniq 5 featured here.
- The car is part of an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which is part of an ongoing museum sponsorship by Hyundai.
- After running until July 17, the Kruger exhibit will later travel to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Barbara Kruger is one of the most influential living artists, having developed an intentionally didactic and extremely acute linguistic, graphic and visual style that has been endlessly copied and commodified. (Obama HOPE by Shepard Fairey posters and the logos of the skate/streetwear brand Supreme would not exist without it.) Her typographic work has a strong cultural critique, grounded in feminism, anti-racism, anti-capitalism, and anti-homophobia (among others), and remains resonant to this day.
Kruger is currently the subject of a convincing investigation in the the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Barbara Kruger: I’m thinking of you. I mean me. I mean you who will visit the Art Institute of Chicago and the New York Museum of Modern Art in the coming years.
Don’t worry, there is a car angle.
Hyundai is one of the main sponsors of this fair (and of the museum itself). For the event, Kruger has created a new work, Untitled (Car)wrapping a Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric sedan in the text, all in his signature style.
Turns out it’s not out of character. “Since the late 1990s, Kruger has city and school buses wrapped in New YorkLos Angeles and Cologne, Germany, with vinyl scripts that address celebrity culture, arts education and power structures,” said Rebecca Morse, co-curator of the exhibition and curator of the Department of photograph Wallis Annenberg at LACMA. the car wrap directly references the LACMA exhibit with the use of Kruger’s black and green title graphic Thinking of you. I mean me. I mean you.”
The car will appear, as on the day of the visit to the exhibition, in front of a vintage Airstream food truck in the courtyard of the museum, as well as in the parking lot of the museum. It will also drive through Los Angeles for the duration of the exhibit. The main goal is to raise awareness of the exhibit and simultaneously provide some visibility for the Ioniq 5, which we don’t mind at all since it’s one of our favorite new EVs. (Watch him in the streets, Angelenos.)
Kruger often surprises people with the location of his work, so this mobility aligns with his challenging and deliciously insidious practice. “From billboards to bus shelters, construction fences and vehicles, Kruger often speaks to the public in outdoor spaces,” Morse said. “By embracing sites that are primarily used for advertising, Kruger challenges viewer expectations and creates a powerful artistic experience.”
Unlike her contemporary Jenny Holzer – whose work also uses the aphoristic type of style as cultural criticism – Kruger did not a BMW Art Car. But can such a thing be far behind? We can only hope. Although, as Barbara would say, Whose hopes? Whose fears? Whose values? Whose Justice?
The Kruger Exhibit opened March 20 at LACMA and will run through July 17, 2022.
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