The present work is quintessential to the Ed Ruscha's exploration of ongoing themes throughout his oeuvre. Here, the words appear in a white, upper case typeface against a softened black and white image of clouds. Appropriating, as he so often does, slogans and phrases from the everyday, Ruscha here skews the meaning of each word through the meticulous selection of colour, font and background and asks them to reconsider their assumed relationship with the vernacular.
This process, the theoretical implications of which the artist is profoundly aware of, transforms the mundane into something entirely more conceptual. With a background in graphic design, he is fascinated by the subtle potential of typography: 'I like the idea of a word becoming a picture, almost leaving its body, then coming back and becoming a word again,' he has said of his inspiration. This fascination was first born out of the artists relationship with the city of Los Angeles. Having grown up in rural Oklahoma, Ruscha found himself intoxicated by California’s dazzling metropolis. To him, it was a new world, ripe for creative exploration.
Hollywood itself was the scene for his formative interactions with the idiosyncrasies of contemporary cosmopolitan culture. Working in a small studio in Western Avenue, he was confronted by the Hollywood sign on a daily basis. It became a kind of personal icon, to him and he found himself compelled to create a dialogue around the power and associations imbued within it. He saw motion in its composition and in the interplay of its words. To him it was more than just a sign, it was a manifestation of the social power that a word can hold. As he said himself: ‘Its a potent symbol filled with corny magic.’
You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.