Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger is most famous within the streetwear community for inspiring Supreme‘s famed red and white logo that makes used of the Futura Bold Oblique font.
In February 2017, Supreme created a big stir around the city when it sold MetroCards featuring its logo. Kruger has tapped into the idea to create her own MetroCard, which will be sold starting November 1st at four stations, made in conjunction with a series of works Kruger is creating for the Performa Biennial.
There are two versions of the card printed with questions that have been included in Kruger’s art throughout the years. According to the NY Times, “Who is healed? Who is housed? Who is silent? Who speaks?” takes inspiration from Kruger’s 1991 work, “Untitled (Questions).” Kruger’s “Whose values?” was featured on a 1992 Newsweek cover in response to vice president Dan Quayle’s attack on single mothers.
The Kruger MetroCards will be sold through vending machines at Queensboro Plaza, Broadway-Lafayette Street, East Broadway and the B/C station at 116th Street. “I tried to have a range of stations to have the most varied mix of riders,” Kruger told the NY Times.
Kruger has said very little about Supreme’s use of her art for its logo, but told the NY Times, “I never cared at all. I find it amusing.”
Her current tone has softened since 2013, when she responded to a Complex inquiry, asking her thoughts on Supreme suing fellow streetwear label Married to the Mob for copyright infringement for selling a Supreme Bitch logo. In her email, she wrote, “What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers. I make my work about this kind of sadly foolish farce. I’m waiting for all of them to sue me for copyright infringement.”
When we followed up with Married to the Mob designer Leah McSweeney on the dust-up last year, she told us that in the midst of the controversy, Kruger through an intermediary had reached out to her for a t-shirt. Alas, the t-shirt never was delivered.
For information on Kruger’s work at Performa, visit 17.performa-arts.org.