The Long Run

John Baldessari. Six Colorful Inside Jobs. 1977 586

John Baldessari (American, born 1931). Six Colorful Inside Jobs. 1977. 16mm film transferred to video (color, silent). 32:53 min. Gift of Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, and Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis. © 2018 John Baldessari

John Baldessari: This is John Baldessari. My father was a landlord and I kept his rentals up painting them, and I used to occupy my mind as I was painting the wall just by saying to myself, now I'm painting a wall, now I'm making a painting. And it would just be a conceptual exercise. The physical activity was the same, I was just calling it differently each time. So I began to think about, well, what separated one from the other? Why was one different?

In Six Colorful Inside Jobs I would have an actual room, and have a person come in and paint the four walls. It starts out with a white room. He comes in... and he paints it red, and then the next day he paints it orange, the next day yellow, next day green, the next day blue, and the last day violet. And it was being filmed above head, the whole process. A bird's eye view. It usually took him about three to four hours to paint all the four walls, and then those four hours would be, in the film, compressed to about five minutes. And the title, Six Colorful Inside Jobs, it's just a pun, you know, in crime when we say, an inside job, but in this instance I was altering the idea of it, there's six… primary and secondary colors and six, you're going into the days of the week .... And then the seventh day one would rest, you know, in the Biblical sense. (Laughs)

0:00
1 / 8