John Baldessari

John Baldessari is an artist I have become interested in due to his use of text in his work and the way he uses it to create confusion or to challenge an audience into their perception of art. He became popular in the 1960’s and his work has involved photography, video, painting, texts, drawing, prints, and books. He focuses on language and the communication of art and challenges ways in which artefacts become art. Written and visual language are sometimes combined together to juxtapose or to link together, playing with the relationship between text and image.

‘A word can’t substitute for an image, but is equal to it’- Baldessari

Painting And Drawing, 1966-68. Acrylic on Canvas
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Pictures & Scripts:… Files Toenails 2015
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Movie Scripts / Art …Room is bare and dusty., 2014
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What Is Painting, 1968

I am interesting in the odd but appealing descriptions of things or words around him in the image and text pieces. The personal insight into experience feels so real and relatable.

I also relate to his idea of Text being a form of Art. It creates an image in the mind, can remind the audience of something else, an emotion, experience or memory – equally to an image or painting – and this is what i’m trying to think about currently. Whether my personal thoughts and writings can be considered art? This is what I am exploring. Baldessari constantly questions things and makes statements about art as if it can simply be explained in sentences. I also find these Image and Text compilations interesting, and quite amusing in their simplicity and obviousness.


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