"In thrift shops, I can capture lost excitement and overwhelmed, subsumed moments." —Brian Ulrich
Chicago, Illinois, 2005, is the very first picture Brian Ulrich made in his Thrift series. Part of a larger project titled Copia, which examines our consumer-dominated culture, it is a direct response to the 2001 encouragement by the Bush administration to go out and spend to boost the U.S. economy. In Thrift, the artist has made a series of photographs taken in thrift stores—which have become the depositories of our recycled consumer desires. The work, in the words of the artist, "explores not only the everyday activities of shopping, but the economic, cultural, social, and political implications of commercialism and the roles we play in self-destruction, over-consumption, and as targets of marketing and advertising."
Brian Ulrich (born in North Port, New York, 1971) holds an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. In 2009, he was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Julie Saul, New York; and Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco. In 2006, Aperture published his work as part of MP3: Midwest Photographers Publication Project, and in 2011, published his monograph, Is This Place Great or What.