If you don’t know him by name, you will definitely recognize his artwork of movie stills and photographs with big ‘ol colorful dots over the faces.
John Baldessari is an American conceptual artist whose career has spanned academia and many disciplines of art. Always infused with a little humor, Baldessari’s artistic practices are as notorious as his work. In the beginning of his career, he focused primarily on painting until 1970, when he literally burnt all of the paintings he had created between 1953 and 1966. Entitled The Cremation Project, he took the ashes from his burnt works, baked them into cookies, and placed them into an urn. Seriously.
“I will not make any more boring art”.
Shortly after this mass burning, Baldessari vowed to “not make any more boring art” by filming himself writing the phrase over and over again. He then sent the video to students at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, who were instructed to cover the gallery walls in the phrase “like punishment.”
With a long career that is filled with hilarious and thought provoking projects, it may seem impossible that you could condense his life’s work into a 5 minute video. However, the 2012 short film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Shulman, A Brief History of John Baldassari (2012) does just that, and quite well I must add. So I’m going to shut up, and you’re going to watch the video.