R
is for
Edward Ruscha

“I wasn’t captivated by the romance of Paris or London. I love visiting, but I’d rather be in L.A.”

— Edward Ruscha

10 FUN FACTS ABOUT ED-WERD REW-SHAY

  1. As a young man, his attention-grabbing business card was printed with his name pronounced phonetically ‘ED-WERD REW-SHAY’ (addressing the issue of mispronunciation), followed by the self-definition, ‘Young Artist’. 
  2. His father opposed his becoming an artist until he discovered that Walt Disney offered profitable jobs to artists and designers.
  3. His first solo exhibition was held at the same gallery that Andy Warhol had his.
  4. Growing up, his parents were strict church-goers, and he would attend every day.
  5. The writer J. G. Ballard once described Ed Ruscha as having ‘the coolest gaze in America’.
  6. Comedian Steve Martin was prompted to start his Art Collection when a work he had bought by Ruscha in 1968 saw a six-fold increase in value after a few years.
  7. As a young artist, Ed never even contemplated the notion that you could make a living out of Art – ironically, last year his work ‘RADIO’ sold for $52.4 million dollars.
  8. He used unconventional materials in his works including blood, gunpowder, tobacco and the medicine Pepto-Bismol.
  9. He resisted being labelled as ‘Pop’ but he was included in the first known Pop Art exhibition(1962) with artists like Warhol and Lichtenstein 
  10. Working into his eighties, Ruscha continues to be very productive even today.

— Silvia Ricci

Edward Ruscha, Edward Ruscha (Ed-Werd Rew-Shay) Young Artist, 1972.