A large body of work including texted based art, Ruscha wanted to elevate the emotion and meaning of words. Making them the focal point on the canvas. Much in the same way poets are able to make words rise to emotional states, Ruscha was one of the first artists to experiment with text based art.
"I don't do social media of any kind. If I did, I may as well join Scientology."
Born on December 16, 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, Ed Ruscha became one of the most sought after American artists of his generation. He moved to Los Angeles in 1956 and attended Chouinard Art Institute graduating in 1960. He was part of the Pop Art movement of the 60s and went on to focus on Conceptual Art. Work includes paintings, prints, books, drawings and photographs.
Ruscha liked to delve in West Coast Pop themes. He would showcase everyday items and force the viewer to pay attention. He began talking photographs of mid century gasoline stations in California and other neighboring states. This would be the subject of his first book, "Twentysix Gasoline Stations" which lead to the inspiration of his famous Standard gas station paintings. This was followed with a series of books focusing on different subjects from parking lots to Los Angeles pools. Ruscha would turn these ordinary items, typically unnoticed and relegated to be wallpaper in our lives to now become the focus of attention.
The presence of media and Hollywood are evident in just about every work of art. With a sense of humor and intelligence, Ruscha is able to quickly capture your attention with words on paintings much like seeing billboards along the highway.
Able to work in a variety of mediums, Ruscha is an expert in painting, photography and print making. With his fascination of words, Ruscha would keep a notebook filled with words and phrases he would hear in conversation or from music lyrics. Being able to work in many mediums and maintaining a consistent theme of cool California dreaming has made Ed Ruscha one of the most successful artists of our time.