The ideals of the post-war years were tested in Los Angeles and over a period of ten years, the city built an urban infrastructure found nowhere else in America. L.A.'s freeway system, modern architecture, city planning, popular culture and art was a template for the future. This new environment - a landscape of signs - is what artist Ed Ruscha found when he drove west, at 19 from Oklahoma City. But Ruscha soon realized that behind this fascination with the future lay an underlying tension and contradiction that needed to be chiseled down, word by word, image by image. And so, for the last 50 years, Ruscha's work and study of America's urban landscape has garnered him a reputation as one of the country's preeminent modern artists.
"As I approached there was a sunset happening... and I could kinda feel Los Angeles coming towards me and when I finally got here and saw what this place was like, I fell in love with it."
On The Edge of Society
"All of these things were on the edge of society and they all took place here in Venice. It was life in the slow lane, and everybody loved it that way.
On Billy Al Bengston
"He and I were good friends and we'd go out on motorcycle trips together."