John Baldessari (American, b. 1931)
Man with Snake (Blue and Yellow) (105/170), 1991
18 x 13.88 in
Signed and numbered by the artist. DESCRIPTION The present work typifies Baldessari’s attempt to confuse the boundaries between photography, printmaking and painting. His astute form of conceptualism focuses attention on different representational modes and the types of meaning they generate. Here the subject matter may refer at once to images of machoism and the famous ancient sculptural group, ‘The Laocoön’, which was the subject of 18th-century philosopher, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s inquiry into artistic representation. The odd coloring and blue dot are modifications which suggest that any image is open to appropriation – a key aspect of Baldessari’s work and conceptual art practices in general.