I’m interested in glorifying something that we in the world would say it doesn’t deserve being glorified. Something that’s forgotten, focused on as though it were some sort of sacred object.
When I think about America I think about a “Sad Paradise” as Allen Ginsberg called his days in Denver in the poem “The Denver Doldrums”. A place where everything could have happened and then something went terribly wrong, but it still managed to keep a fascinating aura. No place in the world is rich in contradictions as the U.S.A., no place shine as bright and has a core as dark. Ed Ruscha‘s work is capable to convey this mixture of feelings using a language derived from advertising, the very same language that created America as we know it. Ruscha began his career in the Sixties and never stopped telling his surroundings, Los Angeles lifestyle overall, lingering on the contradiction and the unexpected.
Using different media and approaches, Ruscha analyses the changes in his environment with a documentary sensibility, for example in the photographic book “Every Building on the Sunset Strip“. But also uses irony to reflect on people oddities, juxtaposing text and image in order to create a sense of funny estrangement. He experimented with different techniques and materials, sometimes using self made mixtures of colours. He also navigated close to multiple art movements that arose in the Sixties and Seventies like Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and so forth, never quite embraced them fully but always enriching them with his unique sharp and humorous eye.