BOOK CORNER #36: MIRACLE CHIPS
Artist John Baldessari regards images with suspicion. He appropriates them because he can’t help seeing a pseudo-reality or constructing his own. This is the kind of series dreamed up one evening over a beer and a bag of chips. Potato chips come in all sorts of rounded, undulating and irregular shapes that offer obvious comparisons to human features.
Baldessari spots hidden faces, closed eyes and prominent cheekbones and presents a gallery of celebrity portraits that can only be picked out by scrutinizing the golden hues and greasy sheen of one potato chip after another. Back to that beer: such a well-judged leap of the imagination from the humble spud elicits admiration as well as wry grins all round. This is art at its most fascinating: poetry emerges from the subtlest twists. Baldessari’s chips –which the cover proclaims as “guaranteed fresh”– are served with a side of humor.
Miracle Chips, John Baldessari, 2009, 96 p. Published by Little Steidl, Gottingen.
Kenzo, 27, place de la Madeleine, Paris.