John Baldessari passed away recently. He was one of my favourite artists from the post World War II era. Here’s two traditional write ups on him from the leading papers of our day:
- John Baldessari on his giant emoji paintings: ‘I just wondered what they’d look like large’ The Guardian
- John Baldessari, Who Gave Conceptual Art a Dose of Wit, Is Dead at 88 –The New York Times
They are fine. However, I found what helped me reappreciate him was this piece: A brief appreciation of John Baldessari by Austin Kleon. It’s a short piece, but I came away from it with a better appreciate of Baldessari than I did from the other two.
Finally there is this interview in Interview magazine where he speaks with the artist (and former student) David Salle. Well worth reading.
Because as this shows, How California went from a coronavirus success story to a new hot spot – Vox, all you need to do is let your guard down and the disease comes back. I am reading stories of many places having surges and many places are having to go back into lockdown. I understand why people want to read stories of places like New Zealand where life has returned to normal. Life hasn’t returned to normal: all places have done is managed through strong measures to stop it from spreading in their area. Meanwhile it is spreading to other areas of the globe, like India. All it will take is enough relaxing of controls and it could come back stronger.
We know very little about this disease. Social distancing and masks seem to be helping to control it. That’s what we have for now: some level of control. No medicine is coming to help us yet. No mutation is coming to blunt it yet. We may have a long way to go.
The State of California has a new lawyer to represent it: Eric Holder. The New York Times has the details, here. A good piece, showcasing what we can expect from that State while Trump occupies the White House.
As an aside, I found it fascinating to see how Americans perceived Holder. For a number of Americans, they saw him and his Justice Department as inhibitor of liberty due to how his department cracked down on leaks, among other things. For African Americans, they likely saw him as a provider of liberty, as his DOJ went after those looking to restrict their voting rights.
I think both those activities reflected the wishes of his boss, as well as his own goals.
I think he will be formidable in the next four years as he and his law firm defends the interests of California. It will be interesting, for certain.