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Recycling ImagesJohn Baldessari
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.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: John Baldessari.
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Synthesizing photomontage, painting, and language, John 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. By placing colorful dots over faces, obscuring portions of scenes, or juxtaposing stock photographs with quixotic phrases, he injects humor and dissonance into vernacular imagery.
“I really just don’t think imagery should be owned, including my own.”