Monday, May 9, 2011

John Baldessari

John Baldessari does photomontage, painting, uses language, and juxtaposes images that illuminate, confound, and challege original meanings. He draws his viewer's attnetions to minor details, absences, and spaces between things. He does things by blocking out important information with colorful dots and obscuring geometric shapes.

Beethoven's Trumpet (With Ear), 2007
Resin, fiberglass, bronze, aluminum and electronics

This piece is extremely interesting to me. I feel that making the ear the same color as the background, it depreciates the ear and makes it less important to me. The large trumpet is what is important in this scenario. I think he is trying to say that listening is much more important than just hearing something; the fact that the viewer can interact with it in such a way that they can stick their entire self in there makes them have a whole new experience with the ear. This experience is what becomes the art.

Hitch-hiker (Splattered Blue) 1995
Colour photograph, acrylic, maquette

This piece shows the way in which he uses bright geometric shapes in order to hide part of his paintings. The way he does this makes it so the viewer is unable to get a bit of information that is behind this pieces. It is quite frustrating actually; the bright nature of them brings your eye right to them and that usually means that there is something important there, but yet we can’t see it. In this sense, maybe he is trying to protect the Hitch-hiker from further rejection.

The Pencil Story 1972 - 1973
Colour photographs, with coloured pencil, mounted on board

An epiphany, words, they can be pieces of art. That is how Yoko Ono works! The way he has labeled, discussed, and documented this action becomes the art in itself. This is not just photography that makes the piece, it is the larger issue of removing the artist’s hand from consciously thinking about photography and the subject matter, to something that leads to work from the mind. His quote, “I’m not sure, but I think that this has something to do with art” is quite interesting; I think that he has made a discovery that anything can be art, and he is growing and contemplating the artist in himself.

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