In this week’s New Yorker, Calvin Tomkins profiles Ed Ruscha, who has a show at the Getty Center in Los Angeles right now. They drive around L.A., hang out at Mr. Ruscha’s studio and have dinner at the home of Steve Martin and his wife Anne Stringfield. Lots of good stories and quotes in this one, including Mr. Martin joking about wanting to watch Mr. Ruscha shower. (It has to do with the art in his bathroom.)
The artist talks a bit about being the only person in New York dealer Leo Castelli’s roster who was from L.A. “I didn’t feel like one of his leading artists,” he says, “but that didn’t bother me, because I could actually make a living from the stipend he was giving me.”
It also seems that Mr. Ruscha has a pretty impressive garden in L.A. From the piece:
“The weather had turned warm again, and before we set off he showed me his garden, behind the studio. It is more like a small orchard. “Blood oranges and grapefruits right here, and some mandarin tangerines, and three avocados over there,” he said. “Lemon, kumquat, pomegranate, figs, cauliflower, lettuce, peppers, and looks like I also have a gopher.” he pointed to a hole, and then to a withered stalk a few feet away. “That was the world’s hottest pepper, called bhut jolokia, but it died.” When one of the plants dies, he scratches its name and dates on a metal disk and adds it to others on a wood plank that he keeps in the studio.”
Read the whole article here.