Ed Ruscha

Love Chief

Love Chief by Ed Ruscha

Artwork Detail

In Steve Martin's film L.A. Stories, Martin's character Harris Telemacher has an urban epiphany when an illuminated highway sign speaks to him about his destiny. The irony and euphoria of Telemacher's story, the receiving of strange messages against the backdrop of Los Angeles' twinkling night-time grid, are at one with the spirit of Love Chief. The words 'Love Chief' look like a sentimental self-appointed title, an honorific signature as brand logo. They have informality enough to suggest the personal, but an overall blandness and cuteness of style ensures individuality merges with the anonymous flow of mass cultural mood production. The fragmented texts and lonely words which float across the dream-spaces of Ed Ruscha's prints and paintings are often compared to the opening credits from movies. His subject-matter and presentation have always been about bringing something peripheral, bland, banal or incomplete into centre stage, and transfusing it with poetic melancholy. Ruscha has turned all of his advertising agency and publishing house knowledge into the production of fine art, rather than commercial art. Such distinctions, however, will always remain blurred because of Ruscha's love of mass media culture, his hypnotic attachment to a world of signs to live by and drive by, to impersonal messages which calm, cajole or seduce with cryptic elegance. (from The Guide, 2001)

Love Chief
Ed Ruscha
Production date
acrylic on canvas
1670 x 1670 x 60 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1989
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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