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An explanation of the success of artist Jenny Holzer and her installations

artist Jenny Holzer

Although artist Jenny Holzer is no new name in the scene, her work remains mesmerizing and is currently more popular than ever. With her work “For the city” she moved the big public. Typically are the sentences that sound like catchy headlines, but confuse the reader as they think of the deeper meaning. What drives Holzer and why is she so successful?

 Cover photo: © Jenny Holzer on Instagram

Artist Jenny Holzer

“I am not free because I can be exploded anytime”, “Getting tested doesn’t hurt much”, “Really I don’t want to fucking die” and “Shot twice” are just a few of the extensive number of ‘quotes’ artist Jenny Holzer has spread to many cities.

Holzer is well known for these types of slogans that she put on all kind of daily objects (such as T-shirts and even condoms) during the 70ies and 80ies.

 

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During those years, she sneaked out at night to decorate New York City with posters stating, “Romantic love was created to manipulate women”, amongst others. In the morning she went for a walk to check out whether people stopped to investigate her art works.

The peak of her work was the immense billboard she put on Times Square, with the message “Protect me from what I want”.

Recommended: artist Rosie Pilkington and the effect of color on the mind

 

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The start of Holzer’s oneliners

When she attended a course at the Withney Museum in New York City, she had to get through a huge and daunting reading list. That’s when she saw the light and reduced the pieces to catchy, yet confusing, one liners. “Abuse of power comes at no surprise”, “Abstraction is a type of decadence” and “Being judgmental is a sign of life” form just a small selection. Nonetheless, Holzer found the readings very inspiring and thought more people should read them. Because she knew not many would, Holzer start to share these one-liners, to spread the knowledge with the rest of the world.

 

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Holzer’s success

Artist Jenny Holzer seems to be able to turn language into art, without pushing through her own opinion. She objectively shows words and opinions of others, which provokes a certain thinking and consciousness of the society we live in.

Lately, Holzer tactically placed trucks accompanied with slogans in New York City. For example, a truck with “THE PRESIDENT BACKS AWAY” and “STUDENTS WERE SHOT” were put near to the Trump Towers. Holzer is able to produce spot-on art installations of solely words. Words that say a lot without explicitly pronounce the message. That’s exactly what we seem to need in today’s world.

 

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Jenny Holzer has a room in Tate Modern until July 31st, 2019. Go check out this retrospective on her work.

@jennyholzerstudio

projects.jennyholzer.com

Quite interesting, don’t you think? Just like Phoebe Philo’s life lessons, we have many more inspiring articles about women, go check them out. More interested in art? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at our art section here.

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