The American artist John Baldessari was born in National City, California, in 1931. Between 1949 and 1959 he studied at art schools in San Diego, Berkeley and Los Angeles. In the 1960s his work was already attracting international attention and recognition. He combines photographs with explanatory texts that can generally be understood as art parables. In 1966 he renounced pure painting to turn to Conceptual Art. In 1967 he was given a teaching position at his old college, where he taught until 1970, when he was appointed a professor at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia. In 1970 he drew attention with his Cremation Project, in which he had his paintings destroyed in a San Diego crematorium. Until 1988 he taught at CalArts; a number of later famous artists were among his students. In 1996 he was awarded the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, and in 2009 the Golden Lion of the 53rd Venice Biennale for his life’s work. Baldessari lives and works in Santa Monica and is one of the most important representatives of Conceptual and Media Art.