June 17, 2013
Today marks the 82nd birthday of one of the cleverest, tallest and most wonderfully bearded artists we know, John Baldessari.
The towering 6'7" artist was born and raised in California, eventually studying and teaching art at a variety of notable local schools including Berkeley, UCSD, UCLA and CalArts, where joint rolling was apparently offered as a course. Baldessari's students included some of our favorite provocateurs such as David Salle, Jack Goldstein and Mike Kelley.
His early works explored the ways text and image could intersect, painting statements pulled from art theory onto otherwise empty canvases. Through cropping, isolating and re-appropriating snippets of language we see the deep possibilities lurking in a humble joke or the utter emptiness of a lofty theoretical text. In other words, the artist can combine Claude Lévi-Strauss' structuralism with a cheap pun and make it work. Read More .