I’ve always been drawn to artist Ed Ruscha’s work. His work spans painting, printmaking, drawing, photography and film. It compounds several things I’m interested in: printmaking, bookmaking, graphic style and typography. Not to mention, much of his work incorporates text and phrases that are simple, sometimes funny, but always provocative. They make you wonder if he simply chose the words at random or if he is making a deeply profound statement about society. As he says, “Art has to be something that makes you scratch your head.”
Ruscha was influenced by Jasper Johns, John McLaughlin, Marcel Duchamp, and the Pop Art movement. Los Angeles and Southern California are major themes and styles throughout his work. His training in commercial art was the root of his many word paintings and prints. Ruscha also incorporates odd media, such as gunpowder and ketchup, into his work.
“Art has to be something that makes you scratch your head.” –Ed Ruscha
Ruscha continues to skirt the line between commercial art and fine art. He recently collaborated with ethically minded fashion designer Stella McCartney on a typographic ad campaign.