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John Baldessari- Optimized

A brief profile of renowned
conceptual artist John Baldessari

Meet John Baldessari:


Best known as the man who uses found photography and puts dots over people’s faces, Baldessari is a towering figure (no, really, he's more than six-and-a-half feet tall!) in the conceptual art world. He grew up in the 1940s and ‘50s in National City, California (which is also where musical legend and video narrator Tom Waits grew up). 

John Baldessari, Detail of Cutting Ribbon Man in Wheelchair, 1988

Baldessari does everything—film, video, painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation—often incorporating text to bring out the stories that images can tell.

John Baldessari, There Isn’t Time (Goya Series), 1997

As Michael Govan, Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, said on NPR: “Sometimes he takes away the thing that’s most obvious, at the center of your vision, forces you to look at everything else, almost for the first time, to make sense of what you’re seeing.”

Selection of "Wrong Images" from the Pure Beauty Catalog, John Baldessari
Cover image: National City, John Baldessari, 1996