Artist: Ed Ruscha
Title: Pepto-Caviar Hollywood
Edition In the edition of 50
Signed: Signed by the artist includes date and edition #
Published by: Cirrus Editions, Los Angeles, with their blind stamp
Image size: 10" x 37 1/2" inches
Sheet size 14 7/8" x 42 3/8"
The sheet has a few soft handling creases occasionally throughout. Also, there are several hard creases. The piece has also experience fading of the pepto
The story of the pepto used in the print making process of this piece:
Ruscha had sent an assistant around the corner to a grocery store to by a bottle of Pepto-Bismol as an experiment to see how the liquid would react when pressed through the silkscreen onto the paper. After the first proof they decided to make an entire edition and the assistant was sent back to the market to buy a whole case of the product. The cashier then remarked “Well, I guess this stuff really works!” Unfortunately the pink skyline would fade at a faster rate than inks used in print making.
The curiosity and experimental nature of Ruscha’s work during this period proves that the medium of printmaking can result in works that were not possible using oil on canvas. Anytime an artist is using the printmaking medium to create original works, rather than to make simple copies of their paintings, the market will always respond favorably.
PLAYING WITH PRINTMAKING
Much has been made about whether beginning collectors should buy originals or should start by acquiring prints and multiples. This is a line of thinking that has been around the art world for generations. However, with the case of modern graphics or prints by modern artists, there is increasingly little difference between originals and prints. Take the case of Ed Ruscha.
Traditionally many artists created prints so that there would be a more affordable option for a collector to acquire a certain image. In other words, artists may have sold an important oil painting and they would then simply authorize a number of copy to be made through lithography so that the image would be more accessible to a greater number of people.
Ruscha, however, was much more interested in the process of printmaking than simply making copies of his paintings. He knew from the beginning of his career that the printmaking process lent itself to a completely different set of rules than creating works on canvas. Like Picasso before him, he consistently pushed the envelope and was interested in what might be possible through experimentation.
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About Ed Ruscha
Fascinated by the homogenous geometry of the American urban landscape, Ed Ruscha has built one of the most distinctive bodies of work in the history of 20th-century art. Frequently associated with the Pop Art movement or Conceptual art, Ruscha’s work is impossible to categorize, as it taps into all of the major artistic and philosophical movements of its time while retaining a completely original message. The individuality of his art is reflected within his idiosyncratic aesthetic, based on the banal Californian cityscape, cultural cliches, and deterioration of language, rounded with the sharp usage of typography and innovative painting materials such as gunpowder, blood or Pepto Bismol.
Although he has always seen himself primarily as a painter, Ruscha has created a significant body of work in photography and printmaking. His photography books from the 1960s and 1970s are today considered paramount artistic commentaries on the cinematic and popular culture of the time. His most influential photographic volume “Twentysix Gasoline Stations” from 1962 encapsulates all of the vital elements of his style, from geometry and utilitarianism of the architecture to consumerist and peculiar elements of the Los Angeles cityscape. He also specialized in etching, lithography, and screenprinting, creating numerous series of multiples over time. Permeating every media without losing a shred of its power, Ruscha’s visual language was lauded for its clarity and depth. “Art has to be something that makes you scratch your head,” he said at one point, explaining both the choices for his accessible visuals and profoundly symbolic and contemplative concept.
Due to his unique style and great influence, Ed Ruscha has become a favorite among collectors. His works make part of many private collections worldwide and are included in the UBA Art Collection and the collections of LACMA, SFMOMA and The Broad Museum. His photographs and multiples are considered highly desirable items both in auction rooms and galleries.
Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, Ed Ruscha moved to California in the 1950s pursuing education. He is based in Culver City, a part of Los Angeles.