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“You know, everything is not just red, yellow, blue, and coming from a tube. It can be anything out there in the world. Grab it and use it.”

In 1956, artist Ed Ruscha left his home in Oklahoma and drove with his childhood friend to Los Angeles. Drawn to the city by its palm trees and apparent lack of an established art scene, Ruscha stayed to attend Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), where he aspired to be a sign painter. In the decades since, Ruscha has become a world-renowned artist, but much of his art continues to be informed by LA.

In this episode, Ruscha discusses how he became an artist, his thoughts on his career today, and his decades-long project documenting Sunset Boulevard.

Black and white photo of the Sunset Motel from 1966, with a car driving down the street in front of the building

Sunset Blvd, Ed Ruscha, 1966. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2012.M.1). © Ed Ruscha

12 Sunsets explore the Sunset Boulevard photographs

JAMES CUNO: Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.
ED RUSCHA: You know, everything is not just red, yellow, blue, and coming from a tube. It can be ...

Music Credits
“The Dharma at Big Sur – Sri Moonshine and A New Day.” Music written by John Adams and licensed with permission from Hendon Music. (P) 2006 Nonesuch Records, Inc., Produced Under License From Nonesuch Records, Inc. ISRC: USNO10600825 & USNO10600824

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This post is part of Art + Ideas, a podcast in which Getty president Jim Cuno talks with artists, writers, curators, and scholars about their work.
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