The American pop artist Andy Warhol created his first self-portrait in 1964 and continued making them throughout his career. By using mechanical processes, including silkscreen printing, he created paintings which look machine-made. This room presents Warhol's self-portrait alongside pop, photography-based and contemporary works to explore the relationships between self-image, identity and mass media.
Barbara Kruger uses vivid graphic images to critique the spectacle of commercial advertising. Her nine-panel work resembles a teaching-aid, using sign language and words to speak of the opposition between gender roles. Hito Steyerl similarly adopts the tone of a formal instructional presentation, suggesting ironic ways in which we might prevent ourselves from being captured visually by digital technology. Lorna Simpson's series of captioned photographs is a form of anti-portraiture, presenting a cropped image of a subject as a de-individualised representative of a wider group. Constructed media identities are also exposed in the work of VALIE EXPORT, who in the late 1960s created an artistic persona to comment on gender roles in society. Pop artist Billy Apple exposes tension between reality and the strategies adopted when formulating a public facing identity. The American artist Robert Heinecken sought to extend the possibilities of the photographic medium. His altered magazines examine the manufacture of daily life by mass media and the relationship between the original and the copy, both in art and society at large.