Baldessari collectors on a budget, rejoice! The latest Baldessari-themed issue of upscale art magazine / downscale art object Visionaire has just hit the stands. Visionaire 64 is divided into three color-coded limited editions – Red, Green, and Blue – each featuring a different set of ten loose 12 x 18 B&W celebrity portraits, overlaid with the conceptual artist’s signature colorful forms. Fans of the overhyped will want to pick up the red edition which includes James Franco, Miley Cyrus, and Marina Abramovic, along with Ed Ruscha and Pedro Almodovar. The green issue features actors Julianne Moore, Scar Jo, and Neil Patrick Harris, as well as Yoko Ono, Drake, and John Waters, while the blue has Lupita Nyong’O, Ai Weiwei, Catherine Opie, Michael Stipe, and Psy (we assume this was conceived of during the height of “Gangnam Style”).
For those unfamiliar with Visionaire, it was founded in 1991 as a platform for artists, fashion designers and other culture makers to push the boundaries of what a magazine could be. Previous offerings include a set of pop-up artist books, vinyl LP’s, scent vials and flavor strips, as well as the world’s largest magazine, weighing 18 lbs. and measuring 4 ¾ x 6 ½ feet. Although each issues carries a heavy price tag (most are a few hundred dollars, although a Hermes-themed issue in a leather case retails for $3000), they often rely on corporate sponsorship to cover production costs.
This latest issue is no different, having been created in partnership with Samsung, who presumably see this as an opportunity to convince people to take more selfies with their products (if that is even possible). Although Visionaire didn’t return emails or calls regarding the project, their website states that they view this collaboration as combining the “current ease of digital and emailable self-portraits with the time-honored craftsmanship of printmaking.” Although he erroneously conflates selfies with self-portraits (or just pictures of people, really), Baldessari notes, “I’ll probably be most remembered for putting dots over people’s faces, so it’s funny to do an issue devoted to selfies of famous people.” It’s worth mentioning that in almost all of the images we’ve seen, the celebrities are clearly recognizable, saving you the trouble of explaining to dinner guests that there really is a picture of Cameron Diaz under that squiggle, honest!
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because collectible art object publisher The Thing Quaterly recently released their Baldessari edition. Issue 22 consists of two pillowcases with a silkscreened meta-image of a woman clutching a pillow. Although these meant-to-be-used objects lack the celebrity caché of the Visionaire issue, we can’t think of a better way to wake up than with your head on a Baldessari.