Westward: Untitled (I shop therefore I am)

7:00 AM

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (I shop therefore I am), 1987

I felt a series discussing American expansion and manifest destiny would not be complete without touching on consumerism. After the conclusion of World War II employment rates greatly increased, as did incomes. Rising adults realized the mobility of their spending, and thus the rise of consumerism began.

When I first looked at this photograph, trying to come up with ideas on what to write about, one specific phrase came to mind: your dollar is your vote. Today this concept holds especially true. With countless companies discriminating against transgender and homosexual people, it makes me truly consider the companies my spending supports. "I shop therefore I am" represents the same idea. Without the consumers support a company can not succeed, and your spending represents your support.

Barbara Kruger, one of the most influential female artists, developed her career using her fearless ability to confront current events through well-developed graphics. Not only does Kruger's black, white, gray scale, and red color scheme enhance the message she wished to portray, but her pieces were exceptionally large. Covering everything from buildings to public transportation, the size of her work heightens the audiences senses and expands the work's influence. 

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