Untitled (We are astonishingly lifelike)


Photograph and type on paper

17 x 19 cm (6 11/16 x 7 1/2 in.)

A woman’s face can be made out behind a bead screen held by slender fingers. Filling the entire space of the composition, it frames four words in its corners which, when placed end to end, spell out the aphorism "we are astonishingly lifelike".

American artist Barbara Kruger creates unique photographic works methodically based on archival or advertising images reproduced in black and white to which she adds red or black inscriptions. Presenting her montages as attractive posters with striking slogans, she sharply criticises contemporary society in its broadest dimensions, from machismo to the social constraints of morality and, here, superficiality and consumerism.

Untitled (We Are Astonishingly Lifelike) was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the show "Mapping the Studio" (2009-2011) at the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in Venice.