If Barbara Kruger Were an App Designer

Barbara Kruger iPhone

“That’s like an iPhone!” mused an older gentleman in a jaunty straw fedora at the Frieze Art Fair.

“Yes, that’s the whole point of it,” his scarf-swathed wife affirmed, before slipping into the Sprüth Magers booth to inquire after the price of the piece.

Indeed, critiques of technology don’t get much more literal than the stark re-rendering of an iPhone screen (looks like a 6 to boot!), and so it is with Barbara Kruger’s large-scale “Untitled (Connect),” 2015. The phone, cradled by a hand printed in Kruger’s signature newsprint style, is decked with buttons bearing sweeping bold-faced terms — “HUBRIS,” “PLEASURE,” “STRUGGLE,” “EMPAHTY,” “MURDER,” “CHARITY,” “SPAM,” “IRONY,” “SEXT,” “SHAME,” “LOVE,” “CONTROL” — and serves as a not-so-friendly reminder to maybe look up from our small rectangular screens on occasion (this writer typed into her phone).

— Anneliese Cooper (@DawnDavenport)