LA Film Festival Tue 2.18.2014

New Ed Ruscha Artwork Commemorates the Los Angeles Film Festival

With the Los Angeles Film Festival a little less than four months away, the Festival team has kicked into high gear. We’ve received more than 5,300 submissions, and today, we’ve got great big news: we’re unveiling our 20th Anniversary commemorative poster—and it’s designed by world-renowned American artist Ed Ruscha.

There is not a more perfect artist to commemorate the Festival’s 20th anniversary—June 11-June 19—than the renowned pop artist best known for his symbolic depictions of LA: gas stations, palm trees and swimming pools. As art critic Mark Stevens wrote in New York Magazine “Certain artists become a place. Canaletto is Venice. Constable is the English countryside. Homer is New England, and Hopper is Depression-era New York. Ed Ruscha is that kind of artist: He’s Los Angeles. He doesn’t record every aspect of L.A., of course, any more than Constable documents every detail of rural England. You don’t find movie stars or an homage to the Pacific coastline in his work. And yet Ruscha, more than any of his contemporaries, captures the peculiar presence of the city.”

The poster is an homage to Ruscha’s 1962 painting Large Trademark With Eight Spotlights. In  September that year, Ruscha was included along with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in the important survey “New Painting of Common Objects.” It was the first exhibition of work soon to become known as “pop art.” Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights was the first of an intended series of subjects with dramatic architectural perspective that he projected to include Standard Station and Wonder Bread.

In the decades since, Ruscha’s work has been collected by museums worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Musée National Jeu de Paume, The Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

“I’m pleased to have designed the poster in support of the 20th LA Film Festival and Film Independent,” Ruscha said, “and I hope the image reaches as many people as possible.”

As part of the Festival’s anniversary celebration, Festival Director Stephanie Allain and Film Independent at LACMA curator Elvis Mitchell along with artist/scholar Roya Rastegar will program a sidebar of films and events that celebrates the cultural wealth of Los Angeles. “Because we are the global center of entertainment,” said Allain, “our mission is to foster a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision and to celebrate the cultural splendor of Los Angeles.”

By Pamela Miller / Website & Grants Manager