Barbara Kruger was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1945. She studied at Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts, and Parson's School of Design in New York, where she was taught by Diane Arbus.
Kruger obtained a design job with Mademoiselle Magazine at Condé Nast Publications, where she was quickly promoted to head designer. She later worked as graphic designer, art director, and picture editor in the art departments of publications such as House and Garden and Aperture. Kruger’s design background is evident in her internationally renowned body of work.
By layering found photographs and adding strong, often-aggressive text, Kruger engages her viewers in the struggle for power and control as well as feminism, classicism, consumerism, and desire. Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums as well as on billboards, buscards, train station platforms and in public parks.
Barbara Kruger lives and works in New York and Los Angeles.