Barbara Kruger (1945-)
Untitled (Thinking of you)
Screenprint on vinyl
Overall: 123 1/8 × 100 11/16 in. (312.7 × 255.7 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Katherine Schmidt Shubert Purchase Fund
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
Barbara Kruger’s iconic montages juxtapose images culled from the mass media with provocative slogans and phrases. Thinking of You features an enlarged close-up of a found photograph, showing a safety pin pricking an index finger, which is superimposed with the phrase “Thinking of You.” The message is delivered in Barbara Kruger’s preferred font, Futura Bold Italic, and contained in her signature lacquered red frame—a bold, simplified composition that recalls the artist’s early career as a graphic designer. Typical here is the use of a shifting pronoun to replicate the media’s implication of the viewer into its web of insinuating messages. Like the safety pin, the tactic pricks at our sense of self-awareness as objects of media attention. Who is the “you” being addressed? The message implies intimacy and knowledge, but the image is somewhat menacing; is it a warning, and against what? Kruger’s art lifts the veil that conceals sublimated messages directed at our unconscious needs and desires, encouraging criticality and circumspection.