John Baldessari, a true Original Gangster of art and commerce and a Post-Modern masterpiece himself, believes that in one hundred years he’ll be best known for “putting dots over peoples faces” and is so fucking successful, he carries nothing in his pockets. Think about that. In Crit classes throughout my art school years at Cal Arts, we spent hours breaking John Baldessari down to dust, only to build him back up as a Rock Idol-like Art God. When discussing his discourse and ideas of personal expression we used words like “re-contextualization,” “banality,” “juxtaposition” and phrases like “total all encompassing conceptual works”… but mostly, when speaking about John, I tend to just use “SWAG.”
Watch this 5 minute and 55 second video narrated by the one and only Tom Waits as commissioned by LACMA for their first annual Art + Film Gala honoring John Baldessari and Clint Eastwood.
directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
edited by Max Joseph
written by Gabriel Nussbaum
cinematography by Magdalena Gorka
& Henry Joost
produced by Mandy Yaeger & Erin Wright
Thank you to John Baldessari and his studio.