Observing Consumer Consumption

Artist and photographer, Mark Luthringer, uses photographs to index categories of the things he sees. The comparisons of similar objects and places are striking and thought-provoking. While one can see an amazing display of possibility, consumer choice and innovation through design, branding and manufacturing technology, alternatively one can see an overall sameness to the content, presentation, architecture and environment.

There is hope and despair in his work. Hope in that design and technology can provide solutions en-mass, and despair in the realization that, given the creative potential for a vast variety of design solutions, what this artist so adeptly points out, our objects of desire, such as homes, furniture, vacation destinations, meals, and clothes are generally the same and by comparison very uninteresting.

Luthringer’s compelling work clearly places him in the unique category of acute observer, curator and anthropologist. Architects and designers, both graphic and industrial, will be interested to view his work. Below is a portion of his Artist Statement, which along with his work can be found at his website, markluthringer.com .

"The typological array’s inherent ability to depict prevalence and repetition make it the perfect technique for examining the excess, redundancy, and meaningless freedom of our current age of consumption. Part of my intent with this work is to answer the question implied by the title of Robert Adams’s book What We Bought: If there is some kind of big sellout occuring, what are we getting in the deal?"