Brian Ulrich is a photographer known for his investigation of American consumer culture. Following President George W. Bush’s 2001 decree that citizens should sustain the American economy by shopping, he began to document the fallout from rampant consumerism in retail outlets, discount stores, and rundown malls, capturing the narcotic hold of shopping over American consumers. In his incisive and often unflattering photographs, his subjects lose themselves in aspirational reveries and consumptive stupors behind shopping carts and dollar bins.
According to the artist, his work documents “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.” Ulrich’s photographs have appeared in publications including the New Yorker, Wired, Adbusters, and the New York Times Magazine. He has had solo exhibitions at institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art (2011), the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2006), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2005).