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.
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).