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Psycho Spaghetti Westerns

March 27, 2011

Psycho Spaghetti Western #8 (acrylic on canvas with used motor oil) Ed Ruscha

What do you see when you drive along the highway? Billboard messages? Gas stations? That’s what consumed most of Ed Ruscha’s art for half a century, until recently. Lately his paintings are all about waste. From an interview in the LA Times:

Your new work has various objects in states of decay or disarray — blown tires, discarded mattresses, a broken construction sign. Are these objects you’ve been collecting in your imagination, or physically as well?

I see them when I drive. I started seeing so much debris and so many castaways, that set me thinking. And I was stopping on the highways to pick up these things. I collected this detritus. I thought they were perfect little things for paintings, and each one has its own personality. I found some debris right in Hollywood, on the small side streets. A lot of these things I found off the highways in the desert.

Ruscha’s work is stunningly vibrant and extremely poignant. His new series Psycho Spaghetti Westerns, which features several paintings of discarded objects is on display at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills until April 9, 2011. I highly recommend it.

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