John Baldessari | Recycling Images

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While sifting through boxes of film stills in his Santa Monica studio, artist John Baldessari talks about being a pack rat and discusses his attitude towards appropriating images.

Synthesizing photomontage, painting, and language, Baldessari’s deadpan visual juxtapositions equate images with words and illuminate, confound, and challenge meaning. He upends commonly held expectations of how images function, often by drawing the viewer’s attention to minor details, absences, or the spaces between things.

John Baldessari is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Systems of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS.

Baldessari’s work can currently be seen at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona in the retrospective titled Pure Beauty (through April 25). The exhibition later travels to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (June 2010) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (October 2010).

VIDEO | Producer: 
Wesley Miller & 
Nick Ravich

. Interview: 
Susan Sollins

. Camera: 
Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & 
Paulo Padilha. 

Artwork Courtesy: 
John Baldessari.

Contributor
Wesley Miller is the associate curator at ART21. Miller co-curates the television series Art in the Twenty-First Century. He is also co-creator of the series New York Close Up.
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