Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ed Ruscha: Paintings of Words

Writing is an art.

In Ed Ruscha's case, Art is writing.



Taken from his web site: "Ruscha has consistently combined the cityscape of his adopted hometown with vernacular language to communicate a particular urban experience."



In some, I love this work because he was creating a particular feeling or image with paintings/words that we as writers create solely with words. The paint is basically a snapshot of what paragraphs of words would look like, combined with a few key words to take your mind in the right direction.



Others seem to be just creative paintings of words, such as the one below:



One of his books, a roughly 600-page compilation of paintings of words is titled:



I love this title. I can't explain it. Perhaps it's the word 'styrene' (an extract from the sap of a styrax tree; it is used in synthetics such as rubber or plastic).



I love that someone could be called Styrene. What would such a person have done to gain a nickname like that? Is it because Styrax trees are very beautiful, and styrene sounds like a feminine name (Eileen, Dorine, etc.), and high concentrations of styrene are carcinogens for humans?

Call it a stretch, but to me it is for these questions that we are writers. Consider this quote by Thomas Berger: "Why do writers write? Because it isn't there."

I know what I'm putting on my Christmas list. This book belongs on my bookshelf.

1 comment:

Jaden said...

oof.

such a sweet word. ;)

- Jaden