John Baldessari, "Brain/Cloud (with Seascape and Palm Tree)," 1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA, S/F wall mounted retainerless frame with color digitally printed panaflex, October 2011
Palm trees and clouds are recurring motifs in Baldessari’s work. In this work by Baldessari, he has combined a palm tree with a brain/cloud, calling attention to the way we often see images when we look at clouds. The artwork’s location, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, invites us to compare and contrast the natural against the artist’s version of a similar landscape.
“A brain can look like a cloud if you manipulate it in the right way. We see things in clouds. It looks like it’s hovering almost from outer space. I like banal images and I can’t think of anything more banal than a palm tree and an ocean.
John Baldessari is a conceptual artist whose work over forty years has questioned how we perceive and interpret the world around us. Using a wide range of media, including painting, photography, photo text-works, photomontage, video, artist’s books and sculpture, Baldessari’s work astounds and enlightens viewers. Since 1973, he has been exploring photography as a way to create collaged compositions that explore the relationships between images. His images derive from many sources including film, advertising, and popular culture.
John Baldessari was born in 1931 in National City, California. He received his BA and MA from San Diego State University and continued his studies at Otis Art Institute and Chouinard Art Institute. For many years he taught at CalArts in Valencia, California. He lives and works in Santa Monica.
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