Edward “Ed” Ruscha American artist 1937-
Ed Ruscha is known for incorporating words and phrases into his work.
Ruscha was originally a graphic artist, working for an advertising agency in LA. He was inspired by the work of Jasper Johns to switch to painting. I think the influence of commercial graphics is there to see in his work.
I love this quote from him “Art has to be something that makes you scratch your head”, I like the idea of making work that gets people thinking.
I also like Ruscha’s use of landscape and images that are often at odds with his text. Ruscha’s work often comments on culture and advertising.
Ruscha’s interest in words and type provide his primary subject, he created his first word painting in Paris in 1961.
Ruscha says his inspiration just occurs to him or he writes down what people say. (This appeals to my nosey side, I would like to produce some text based work on overheard comments/conversations). Ruscha is also interested in popular culture and Hollywood Culture.
Ruscha invented his own typeface, he has also spoken of his interest in using onomatopoeia, which is something I am extremely interested in exploring the possibilities of.
As well as using his own photographs, Ruscha uses plotting, mapping and labelling. I absolutely love Ruscha’s work, I also feel that he is an artist that is going to inspire more of my work. There is so much of his work, ideas and concepts to delve into and explore and I find that really exciting.
Jeremy Deller UK 1966 – Artist.
I am really interested in Jeremy Deller because his work is often very political. I’m not really interested in his performance based work more his posters and textile banners.
Deller likes a collaboration, in 2019 he collaborated with graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge on the album artwork for the band Hot Chip. I absolutely hate this artwork, I don’t like the background or the text. I read that the artwork is supposed to “reflect the ecstasy and pathos in music” and avoid the drug taking connotations.
I can honestly say I have never disliked a record sleeve as much as this one. Interestingly Muggeridge and his team came up with the text and wanted it to be hard to read, “it becomes an image”, it has a slightly folksy/ arts and Crafts vibe. The background came about after experimenting with screen printing but ultimately the text is central to the sleeve.
Deller and Muggeridge collaborated on a poster in 2020 “Thank God For Immigrants” in an interview Deller said the poster” expressed what most people were thinking but not saying” The piece came about after conversations Deller had about Brexit whilst making a film about Brexit in Parliament Square.
Deller has spoken about street art/posters being like an exhibition. He described his piece “Tax Avoidance Kills”( a take on Government health advertising) as his contribution to street exhibitions.
I also like Deller’s opinion on affirmations such as “all in this together”, Deller said phrases like this “risk placing underlying injustices out of sight”. I think that is a very good point and I get frustrated by phrases like this and “Levelling Up” , because we are not in this together and there are huge disparities between communities, and the people that are spouting these phrases are in such positions of privilege. So I respect Deller for speaking out on this.