A Brief History of John Baldessari: Narrated by Tom Waits

Here is a short humorous biopic about legendary Los Angeles artist John Baldessari. It was directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman as a commission from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s wonderfully narrated by Mr. Tom Waits who was apparently picked by Baldessari for the job. If I have criticism of Baldessari, it would probably be that he has too much fun making art. Actually I’m not kidding. It’s a harsh criticism from where I stand. But I still like his work. I know his printer in downtown Los Angeles. He lets me stop by now and then to see what’s cooking on his great big old-fashioned printing press. In fact, I am the proud owner of an original signed Baldessari artist’s proof. It makes me smile with confusion whenever I walk past it. Despite Baldessari’s obvious enthusiasm for making conceptual art, there’s a lurking seriousness underneath all those colored dots and old time movie stills. He makes art in the margin between painting and filmmaking.