Green Kiss/Red Embrace (Disjunctive)
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You know that incredibly satisfying feeling when two things just fit together perfectly? Well John Baldessari rips that beautiful feeling away from us with his work, Green Kiss/Red Embrace (Disjunctive). The sick bastard…

Baldessari loved working with movie stills but the more he worked with them, the more he realized that all the stills were of either violence or kissing. Classic Hollywood am I right? If it’s not explosions or sex, people just aren’t interested. Romance and violence via appropriated film stills became a major part of the Baldessari aesthetic. While talking about the right of artists to use other people’s work in their own, Baldessari states frankly, “I really just don’t think imagery should be owned, including my own. If it’s part of our world, it’s like owning words, you know? How can you own words?” This is wise, perhaps, but not congruous with the views of most of the art-making world...not to mention their lawyers. Just ask Luc Tuymans from Belgium, who was sued for using a copyrighted image as inspiration. Tough luck.

Green Kiss/Red Embrace (Disjunctive) is a particularly unnerving and disorienting appropriation. Never will you want the force of telekinesis more than when you are trying to reconcile these images in your mind. If you could just run up really fast and put the pieces back together, you could sleep peacefully at night. But no such luck. Baldessari’s satisfaction-depriving art with haunt you forever. Muahaha.



  1. Recycling Images John Baldessari. Los Angeles: art 21, 2010. video.
  2. "Green Kiss/Red Embrace (Disjunctive) | The Broad". Web. 2 May 2017
  3. A Brief History Of John Baldessari. Los Angeles: HENRYandREL Supermarché, 2012. video.