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John Baldessari: 'Ugly' L.A. is inspirational [Video]

October 8, 2011 |  8:02 am


The art of John Baldessari is deeply rooted in Los Angeles. The city plays itself in many of his creations and the artist has depicted it as a playful, energetic, surreal and thriving metropolis.

But that doesn't mean Baldessari thinks L.A. is a beautiful city. Quite the contrary, in fact. In his Tuesday appearance at the Hammer Museum with Times art critic Christopher Knight, the artist made it clear that his adopted hometown is not much to look at.

"I live here because L.A. is ugly... If I lived in a great beautiful city, why would I do art?" he said. "I always have to be slightly angry to do art and L.A. provides that."

Here's a clip from Tuesday's conversation, in which Baldessari explains how L.A. inspires him...



John Baldessari: Teaching at CalArts [Video]

John Baldessari: Early years in Southern California [Video]

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-- David Ng

Photo: A detail of "Wrong," featuring the artist. Credit: John Baldessari