Did you know: Wilshire’s ForYourArt is welcoming a John Baldessari show starting May 18? Well, they are. It’s called Crowds and it will feature new works made by the artist in collaboration with Mixografia. The body of work sees images from film examined by removing some iconic or memorable elements and replacing them with empty space. It’s an interesting little project that is very much in Baldessari’s ironic, art deconstruction point of view. This somehow got us to digging around John’s work and we discovered a little collaboration he and FYA did a few years ago that totally slipped by us: John Baldessari: In Still Life 2001 – 2010, an interactive art project that lets you make and remake and fuck around with the concepts of a still life.
Using 1667 painting Banquet Still Life by Abraham van Beyeren as a basis, Baldessari took the image apart one element at a time so that you can put it back together (or not) one element at a time. You could opt to make the painting the same or make it a little off or–like us–just totally go batshit insane and try to think of as many silly combinations of fruit you can think of. Throw the lobster in the air and then surround it with levitating oysters! Reverse their roles and put the bowl *on* the grapes! Defy gravity by having nothing on the table! The choice is yours. You can even save your image and then share how you fucked up the image with your friends.
What a hysterical idea! And it’s available to play with on the computer or to download for your iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything like reorient the direction of an object or slide in a different canvas, etc. (and, sadly, some bug is in the system that doesn’t let you save the images: it just saves black tiles). Regardless, it’s so funny and a great way to see art played with in a new way. It’s totally free, too. If you want to take things to the next level, you can play with the app as you look at the real still life in person as it is currently on view in LACMA’s Ahmanson Building. Catch this fun app online and you can see Baldessari’s latest show at FYA from May 18 through June 16. Get more information on that here.