Partners In Design


Barbara Krueger on Design Matters

Recently, Shalimar made a post on the blog letting us all know that we should subscribe to Debbie Millman's "Design Matters" Podcast. So that night, I subscribed to it, and it sank into the recesses of my iPod, to be forgotten for years. This morning, I was listening to some music on the bus ride and scrolled past Debbie's name. I shrugged and selected it and decided to have a different bus ride this morning, hopefully one that would teach me something about the ever growing design world.

As It started, Debbie started reading off a poem she had written. And I kid you not, I brought me to tears. It was a story about her early years in the city in the 80's. She started describing how some people in the world have an almost natural magnetism, a born sense of strength thats sets them apart and makes them almost destined for success. She was describing a man named Brian. We find out that Brian would soon meet her roomate at the time, Christopher, and the two would fall madly in love. Debbie describes her bitterness for slowly losing her roomate to Brian, and their tensions. Ultimately, Brian and Christopher would move out of the apartment and find a beautiful place together. Debbie and Christopher would remain friends for years to come.Debbie then describes how Brian contracted AIDS, and her account of an autumn evening where Brian took the initiative to teach her how to rollerblade. She agreed and the two shared their first and last moment together. Brian always had one specific thing he took to every place he'd go. It was a piece of art that depicted Jesus and had a very compelling quote (which i'd rather not botch just from memory). When Brian past away, he left Debbie the painting (a painting that she always loved, and inspired her ultimately to create art once more). The painting was by Barbara Krueger.

After crying like a baby, just from her sheer power in writing and voice, she revealed she would be having Barbara Krueger on the show. I have to say, Barbara was just an amazing and fantastic woman. She's a fine artist, Brander, Graphic Designer, Social Agitator, and Feminist. She's had her work displayed all over the world, and currently does installation work mostly. The work, exhibiting projected video work that shows multiple people on all walls around the viewer, having conversations about love, jealousy, and competition. She is most recognized, though, for her initial design work that she describes as "Working with Pictures and Words." (Some of that stuff is fantastic and posted below).

I think what was so great about listening to Barbara was that she had a real sense of self, a sense of personal strength without being too outwardly neglectful of other's thoughts. She always approached every singly question with a sense of "I have an opinion but am not the say all of everything." It was nice to also hear how much I personally related to her, which was amazingly surprising. She came from a very poor family from Newark, and as a result of taking care of her family, wasn't able to finish going to school. She just had a genuity that I took to right away and I suggest that everyone take a listen. She's primarily a fine artist, but her words and views were truly beautiful...

1 comment:

Shalimar said...

I am so happy that it had the same effect on you that it did. The Barbara Krueger show is one of Debbie's best shows. Its very moving and inspiring. And I am glad that was the first one you listened too. All the shows start off with an amazing monologue by Debbie, and they are always s beautifully written and spoken. Bravo!