Artist Hank Willis Thomas has mounted a new exhibit, called Unbranded: A Century of White Women. It features print advertisements from 1915 to today with the text and branding removed, illustrating how America has seen and sees white women.
Thomas talked to NPR about the exhibit.
«I think what happens with ads — when we put text and logos on them, we do all the heavy lifting of making them make sense to us,» he tells NPR’s Linda Wertheimer. «But when you see the image naked, or unbranded, you start to really ask questions.
«That’s why we can almost never tell what it’s actually an ad for, because ads really aren’t about the products. It’s about what myths and generalizations we can attach, and the repetition of imagery of a certain type.»