This monograph provides an overview of Kelley Walker's work and newly commissioned essays and an interview give precise insights into his practice.
Born 1969 in Colombus, Georgia, Kelley Walker lives and works in New York City. Authorship and authenticity are primary concerns in his work. Taking material from the public domain, Walker further complicates everyday transactions with visual material, converting the banality of mass media into instances of trepidation, complexity, and instability. Using the potency of advertising strategies, Walker's large-scale prints appropriate iconic cultural images, digitally altering them to highlight underlying issues of politics and consumerism. His computerized composites do not target specific institutions or causes, but rather expose the constant state of anxiety within contemporary culture. Humorously combining processes of analogue collage to reference abstract painting, Walker smears magazine covers with toothpaste or news photos with melted chocolate; scanned into his computer, their materiality is transformed into pure information. This politics of the mediatization of contents, combined with Walker's acuity for the systemics of visual messages, give his photo-based works an unlikely quality of being neither post-Pop nor appropriation per se.