• John Baldessari Fun (Part 2)

John Baldessari Fun (Part 2)

John Baldessari believes in simplicity, or at least the impression of it. He once stated that the goal for all art is “to be as simple as a flashcard.” Often, the artist juxtaposes two or more photographs or cinematic stills to create meaning within a single artwork. The installation of Baldessari's billboards on opposite sides of the City Garage comparably juxtaposes the two works on a monumental scale. This billboard, Fun (Part 2), is superficially similar to it’s neighbor, Fun (Part 1). Both are black and white images, featuring comparable fashions, one-piece bathing suits and elaborate hairstyles. A closer look reveals the billboards, while related, are actually quite different. While the figure attempting to balance on a beach ball is deliberately posed in front of a painted backdrop, her expression is candid, her arms outstretched in an effort to steady herself. The still image could easily be an outtake, though the original purpose of the image is mysterious and thought provoking.

Baldessari undermines the simplicity of the single image through the billboard's relationship to the surrounding area, compelling the public to consider the divergent representations of leisure and recreation depicted herein.

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