John Baldessari: Just an Artist
I got a real sense of moral obligation and I think that’s why I was a late starter in art because art didn’t seem to do anybody any good that I could see. It didn’t heal bones; it didn’t help people find shelter.
Teaching juvenile delinquents was a real eye-opener for me, because they had a stronger need for art than I did. And they were criminals. We had no other shared values, but they cared more about art then I did. It dawned on me that it must provide some sort of spiritual nourishment—as terrible as that sounds—but it must.