The Art Assassin 2

a nonfiction novel by Albert Wang, or a portrait of the artist as a young failure…

ASSASSINATION: John Baldessari, Artist Represented by Marian Goodman Gallery

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Photograph of John Baldessari. Courtesy of Frieze Foundation.

Last year, I had a chance to do a portrait of Patrick Pardo who working on John Baldessari‘s catalogue raisonne. I was not able to get contact information for this remarkable artist but I had the good fortune to submit an interview portrait question for a talk between moderator Matthew Higgs, an artist who directs White Columns and was acting as my proxy for this portrait, and Baldessari. This banter occured during the 2009 Frieze Art Fair.

My original request was as follows:
Remove star
qi peng
Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 11:33 AM
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Do you have any favorite cuisine or dishes that you enjoy?
Considering that food is essential for the artistic soul, what things
do you enjoy about meals either prepared in a restaurant or home

qi peng
office: 925 East 900 South Suite 37
Salt Lake City UT 84105
home: 974 West Big River Court Unit 3
Salt Lake City UT 84119
t: 801.879.1971
and her reply was as follows:
Jennifer Higgie
Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 4:29 AM
To: qi peng
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Many thanks!
– Show quoted text –
Jennifer Higgie
Frieze has moved!
81 Rivington Street
London EC2A 3AY
Direct line: 020 3372 6126
Main line: 020 3372 6111
Fax: 020 3178 7042
I did not think much of the submitted question since the probability of having such an inquiry go through at this prestigious art fair was fairly low. Or so I thought. Then I did not bother with this line of questioning until a few weeks ago when I rediscovered the results of the talk between Higgs and Baldessari when I listened to the whole thing.
And I was floored. The question that I had sent as a work of art existed right in the middle of the nearly one hour session. Here is a transcript of this interview portrait.
If you have any questions about Baldessari’s artwork, feel free to contact his gallery Marian Goodman Gallery at or at (212) 977-7160.
And now on to the talk and here are THE ART ASSASSIN’s fascinating details of this certain “assassination”:
Matthew Higgs: Uhm.. the next question comes from a, a name I’m afraid I don’t know how to pronounce, but it’s QI [ph?]. Perhaps somebody in the room knows how to pronounce that correctly? Nope? Cheap? Uhm.. the question is, “Do you have any favorite cuisine or dishes that you enjoy?”

John Baldessari:  I- I enjoyed it, you know, most foods. You know, I do have a food–– I do have a food allergy of, of shellfish. So I, am–– and part of that I didn’t enjoy shellfish a lot. Uh.. I think but, uhm.. what makes me eat? Boredom; you know, I am, get bored with having the same foods over again, and so I’m a… I try to have as much variety in what I eat as possible. Uhm.. But, rather than favorite cuisine, I– I would say, you know, good cooking I prefer, rather than bad cooking.

Matthew Higgs: Right. <laughter> Yes, me too. Uhm.. thanks for the question.

For more gossip or dishing me the art scoop: E-mail me at

Written by qi peng

May 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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