Every year we design a banner to shield the west side of our office from the low winter sun. While brain storming this year’s image we came across a brochure for an exhibit of John Baldessari’s work featuring the painting Tips for Artists who Want to Sell. Jokingly someone said, “why can’t we just put this on the banner?” We couldn’t, of course, but quickly realized that we could follow Baldessari’s tips and see where they took us. The result of the experiment is this pastoral scene (following tip #3: “… paintings with roosters sell…”) shading us throughout the winter and providing a thematic backdrop for the nearby community garden.
What we’ve found most interesting is that our visual play on Baldassari’s textual work has proven extremely “effective.” The general population has had nothing to say, when usually the yearly banner provokes at least little conversation in the blog-o-sphere. And our art and design colleagues give it a small chuckle of recognition worthy of an inside joke.
John’s tips, as a critique of the commercial art market, seem more spot-on in practice than we realized. Which leaves us to ask … Any buyers out there?