Throughout his prolific career, John Baldessari (born 1931) has approached his art through adamantly non-traditional paths. Since the late 1960s, Baldessari has combined snapshots that he takes himself or images from popular culture to make large-scale works. Through surprising juxtapositions, image manipulation, and the use of directive titles or language in the work of art itself, Baldessari continually questions issues of perception and what may be acceptable as 'art.'
Baldessari's work can be broadly defined as belonging to an international "school" of conceptual artists whose works first came to prominence in the 1960s. In conceptual art, the idea that precedes the act of making the object is as important, or more important, than the object itself. With humor and irony Baldessari conveys his constantly evolving ideas. In the mid-1980s, he blocked the faces with colored circles to make celebrities anonymous, rendering them mere "suits." In his most recent series, he uses fragments of facial close-ups and colors them selectively, reinventing their appearances in each successive piece.
His most recent retrospective monograph is John Baldessari: A Different Kind of Order, (Works 1962-1984), 2005 published by the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien.