Annie Klein

Graduate Student

Annie Klein is a printmaker based out of Chicago, IL. Her prints combine blue collar aesthetics and biting humor to explore consumer culture, identity formation and class politics. Klein’s work harnesses the reproducible nature of printmaking to dislodge the cult of genius rooted in the singularity of other art forms.

As mass media technologies have evolved, relationships between people and ideas have become overwhelmingly mediated by imagery and punctuated by consumption. Worldviews become materialized into physical items, brand identities become synonymous with value systems, and political alignments can be discerned from your product allegiances. This is the spectacle, an omnipresent sense that the mode of production has decided the outcome of our decisions before we have made them and whose images monopolize our time spent outside of the mode of production. In this cyclical way of being which creates to produce and produces to consume, the participant’s identity becomes the sum-total of what they ingest, and all things are reduced to representation.

Deeply invested in the aesthetics of the “third coast”, my work investigates hierarchies of visual material. Using collage, I deconstruct images sourced from media and advertising to draw new narratives that subvert and alienate them from their original contexts. The resulting compositions utilize the speed and rhythm of collision, highlighting a systematic violence arising from our material conditions to which those in positions of power have a theoretical, moral objection but exist as lived experience to the working class.

Research areas
  • Printmaking