Edward Ruscha. Phillips 66, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1962. From Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations, 1963. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. © Ed Ruscha.
The exhibit on artist Ed Ruscha’s long standing use of photography is currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago. Last weekend I attended a symposium on Ruscha, featuring the man himself. The highlight of his talk was a comparison of the portraits on the $10 & $20 bills. The subtly different portraits, Ruscha claimed, convey different messages. The old Jackson is a model of dignity while the new Jackson looks like a guy waiting in line at Starbucks. See for yourself. Oh, and other people talked about Ruscha’s work and its relationship to photography, including noted rabble rouser Dave Hickey.