Who is John Baldessari?

by: Blaine Skrainka

May 18, 2012

John Baldessari biopic

Check out this LACMA-commissioned mini biopic of John Baldessari – an “epic life of a world-class artist, jammed into six minutes.” The short film was narrated by Tom Waits, a lifelong friend with an unmistakable voice. John Baldessari was both artist and sage, “art is about communication through teaching,” he would say. “What interests me in life is the absurdity of life.” Baldessari had a knack for altering photos to find a deeper meaning within the image. In one project, he placed price sticker dots over the faces of local officials in photo-ops to show the interchangeability of politicians. The conceptual artist (a title he hesitates to accept) illuminates minor details and negative spaces, altering the way we look at art and the world.

For a more in depth look at the life and work of John Baldessari, head over to Art21 at PBS.

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