It's All About Style, 2013

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Barbara Astman, It’s All About Style, 2013


It’s All About Style, reflects the seduction and saturation of the glossy pages of the style section of a newspaper.  Astman collages newspaper extracts creating unusual juxtapositions of colour and texture.  The lo-tech, handcrafted nature of her work introduces resourcefulness into the artistic process, inspiring her to explore the meaning and essence of the images through the materials from which they are made.


These works do not attempt to create logical narratives, nor do they comment on the news of the day. Instead, Astman playfully harnesses seemingly disparate visual material, whose only apparent commonality is their appearance in the “Style” section of a newspaper, to create juxtapositions that comment on the proliferation of hi-fi imagery in modern media. It’s All About Style deals with the overwhelming saturation of – and our collective obsession with – the images we encounter in our daily lives.

BARBARA ASTMAN creates photographic series that target the personal world through recollection or revelation. Her early work responds to contemporary issues by incorporating humor and stereotype. Her oversize photographs from the early 1980s are striking in their bold, unusual use of color and scale.


Throughout her career, Astman pioneered the artistic use of both analogue and digital reproduction techniques. She is among the first to discover and explore the technological practices and concepts that are key signifiers in contemporary art.


Born in Rochester NY, Astman studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the late 1960s when multimedia practices were the hotbed for artistic innovation. Astman came to Canada in 1970 during the wave of draft dodgers from the Vietnam War. Since the mid 1970s she has been a professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto.