Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha self-published his art photography book, “Twentysix Gasoline Stations,” 50 years ago this year.
Few would have predicted the book, which portrays 26 gas stations on Route 66 from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, would have proved so influential to other artists. NPR posted this report on the book:
Exceprts from the program:
[T]he photos nonetheless provide a glimpse into where the artist was coming from. The son of an insurance auditor, Ruscha was raised in Oklahoma City, but moved to L.A. in 1956. The gas stations he photographed all sat on Route 66, the highway he rode on his regular visits home.
“I just had a personal connection to that span of mileage between Oklahoma and California,” Ruscha explains. “It just, it kind of spoke to me.”
A recent video about Ruscha’s work, including his gas station art:
The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is holding an “In Focus: Ed Ruscha” exhibit through the rest of the week. The exhibit includes rarely seen contact sheets of Ruscha’s photography.
Getty’s online magazine features more Ruscha images here.
(Image of Ed Ruscha explaining one of his “Twentysix Gasoline Stations” photos, by libby rosof via Flickr)