John Baldessari's "What Is Painting?" (mid 1960's). Baldessari's "word paintings" were very influential. In 1966, the then-35-year-old artist, who had lived in the National City section of San Diego all of his life, remained there for only three more years. This curious, unprecedented body of work proved his ticket to wider recognition. Baldessari had a knack for finding texts both cliche-ridden and strange enough to disarm the viewer.