Major contemporary artist John Baldessari launches new iPhone/iPad app John Baldessari: In Still Life 2001-2010 in conjunction with For Your Art and support from Ovation. According to the the official website, “John Baldessari created the first In Still Life in 2001 for an exhibition at LACMA. He hung Abraham van Beyeren’s Banquet Still Life on the wall next to an empty frame and invited exhibition visitors to digitally rearrange or remove the 38 objects in the original 17th-century Dutch painting, thus creating a new still life of their own. Visitors were encouraged to print out their still lifes and hang them in the room or take them home. When someone completed a still life using In Still Life, it became his or her own artwork, not John Baldessari’s or Abraham van Beyeren’s artwork.”
Although, the app is free through iTunes you might not have access to a classroom set of iPod Touches. That’s why we really love the online preview that allows anyone with a computer to create his or her own still life (click here to preview app online). This is a wonderful alternative for giving a whole class access to creating their own Dutch influenced masterpiece. The website would also work well with an Interactive White Board to introduce a lesson on Dutch still life painting, show connections between modern artists and past art or to talk about symbolism. While visiting the site make sure to check out the “Learn” tab in the menu. It lists each of the 38 objects in Abraham van Beyeren’s original artwork and describes the and meaning behind each object.