John Baldessari
[Artist, b. 1931, National City, California, lives in Venice, California.]

 I didn’t see painters doing paintings of glassware and glass shelves or sand dunes and receding snow fences. Why does that interest photographers and not artists? 
 Ideally I would like the work to be a hybrid between painting and photography. 
 I want to produce images that startle one into recollection. 
 Photos should suggest a word(s) and vice versa. They should be equal and interchangeable. 
 Probably one of the worst things to happen to photography is that cameras have viewfinders. 
 There’s no such thing as a bad photograph. 
 The real reason I got deeply interested in photography was my sense of dissatisfaction with what I was seeing. I wanted to break down the rules of photography—the conventions. I discovered I was more of a “thinking” person than a “working” person. Photography allowed me to register my ideas more rapidly than painting them. They grew out of a sense of urgency. If you’re stranded on a desert island and a plane flew over, you wouldn’t write “HELP” in Old English script. 
 Find the most puzzling kind of art you can think of, and then go out and try to approximate it with your camera. Take a photograph that corresponds to it. (Assignment to students.) 
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