Jason Schwartzman stalked by John Baldessari

Conceptual artist attempts to turn Hollywood actor on to art in new video


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Following on from Gerhard Richter's comment earlier this week that art has become "entertainment", American conceptual artist John Baldessari seems to have embraced the sentiment by appearing as a disembodied head in a new video alongside Funny People and Bored to Death actor Jason Schwartzman. 

The video is designed to help people get over their "fear" of art and has been put together for Pacific Standard Time - a six-month-long collaboration between over 60 galleries and art institutions across Soouthern California which will document the birth of the LA arts scene. 

Declining a friend's offer to "check out the museum" in the opening scene of the video, Schwartzman's character asks, "Are you kidding me? I hate art." Immediately the head of the conceptual artist appears on the side of the Museum of Contemporary Art to right the situation: "Maybe there'll be something in there for you to take a look at?" Baldessari says.

"There's not, the second you go in there, it takes 10 hours to get back out" Schwartzman answers. "Yeah that's a tough one, I have no sense of direction, I always have to ask how to get out of that place" the artist agrees.

What follows are musings on cubism and drip paintings as Baldessari follows Schwartzman through the adjoining streets in an attempt to change the actor's opinions about art. Eventually, his efforts prove successful.

"I guess what I've realised is I'm afraid," Schwartzman says. "What if I go in the museum, look around at all the art and I just don't get it?" 

"I think the best thing is not to be intimidated and if you don't like something you just say you don't like it. That's fine. Art should be fun," Baldessari replies.

You can find more wise words like this in Phaidon's The 20th Century Art Book and The American Art Book and The Photo Book - all of which feature Baldessari's work. 



Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
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