Kelley Walker’s artwork uses advertising and appropriated images to comment on politics, violence, and consumer culture. In Black Star Press (rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise); Press, Black Star, Walker manipulates an iconic Civil Rights–era image taken by the photojournalist Charles Moore for the photographic agency Black Star. Instead of simply replicating the photograph, Walker rotates it and overlays portions of the silkscreened image with chocolate—a material process that reinforces the issues of race and confrontation depicted in the image. Other works by Walker deploy similar approaches, such as the addition of whitening toothpaste to R&B magazine covers and the digital alteration of disaster photographs to mimic advertisements. Walker appropriates mass media images as a commentary on how these already loaded images can act as a further basis for sociopolitical meaning.
Label from DECADE: Contemporary Collecting 2002–2012, August 21, 2012–January 6, 2013