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Julia Wachtel

what, what, what, 1988

Oil, flashe, and lacquer ink on canvas
52 × 111 in
132.1 × 281.9 cm
On loan
About the work
Image rights
Courtesy the artist & Elizabeth Dee New York
Julia Wachtel
American, b. 1956
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Julia Wachtel’s oil, acrylic, and silkscreen-on-canvas paintings, which are dominated by signs, banners, and logos drawn from popular culture, explore the impact of our image-saturated world on the human psyche. Part of the Pictures Generation artists who emerged in early-1980s New York, Wachtel mines posters of movie stars, pin-up girls, political figures, and pop music icons, as well as cartoon figures drawn from commercial greeting cards and media images that reference the socio-political landscape, before appropriating and altering them, often repeating elements or juxtaposing them with other images so that they are at once familiar and disorienting. To create her “American Color” series, begun in the early ’90s, she pulled photographic images from television of ordinary people confessing personal stories on daytime talk shows, or actors captured in moments of heightened emotion, then recreated them in silkscreen-on-canvas set against monochrome backgrounds, as a way of parodying the representation of human emotion and experience in mainstream media.

Save
Save
view
View in room
share
Share
Save
Save
view
View in room
share
Share
About the work
Image rights
Courtesy the artist & Elizabeth Dee New York
Julia Wachtel
American, b. 1956
Follow

Julia Wachtel’s oil, acrylic, and silkscreen-on-canvas paintings, which are dominated by signs, banners, and logos drawn from popular culture, explore the impact of our image-saturated world on the human psyche. Part of the Pictures Generation artists who emerged in early-1980s New York, Wachtel mines posters of movie stars, pin-up girls, political figures, and pop music icons, as well as cartoon figures drawn from commercial greeting cards and media images that reference the socio-political landscape, before appropriating and altering them, often repeating elements or juxtaposing them with other images so that they are at once familiar and disorienting. To create her “American Color” series, begun in the early ’90s, she pulled photographic images from television of ordinary people confessing personal stories on daytime talk shows, or actors captured in moments of heightened emotion, then recreated them in silkscreen-on-canvas set against monochrome backgrounds, as a way of parodying the representation of human emotion and experience in mainstream media.

Julia Wachtel

what, what, what, 1988

Oil, flashe, and lacquer ink on canvas
52 × 111 in
132.1 × 281.9 cm
On loan
Other works from Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s
Other works by Julia Wachtel