“I go back and forth between wanting to be abundantly simple and maddeningly complex. I always compare what I do to the work of a mystery writer—like, you don’t want to know the end of the book right away. What a good writer does is give you false clues. You go here, no, that’s not right; you go here, no, that’s not right, and then…I much prefer that kind of game.” – John Baldessari quoted in David Salle, “John Baldessari,” Interview Magazine, September 10, 2013.
“On the one hand, there is great art, which fills the ambitious soul with longing. On the other hand, there is one’s tatty, funky self. Like a hobo Cynic in the agora, dissecting people’s comfortable self-deceptions, Baldessari won’t let either horn of the permanent dilemma recede from sight for a second. Paying attention to his work won’t make you better or happier, but it will remind you what truth tastes like.” – Peter Schjeldahl, “Wonderful Cynicism: John Baldessari,” Village Voice, February 10, 1998.