You may find it hard to believe that an artist hailing from Omaha, Nebraska would come to capture the aesthetic, landscape and vernacular of Los Angeles better than most LA natives. But Ed Ruscha's commercially-influenced style and deadpan sense of humor perfectly vibed with the City of Angels, perhaps none more so than his deceptively simple photography books.
Although initially panned by critics, Ruscha's works eventually gained cult status and a massive following, as evidenced in Gagosian Gallery's latest exhibition in New York, titled, "Ed Ruscha Books & Co.," which features over 100 artists inspired by Ruscha's works.
Much of the photography series was captured when the artist was en route from Los Angeles back to Omaha to visit family; he snapped shots of lonely parking lots and gas stations along the way, at once utterly banal and yet symbolic of the freedom of the open road.
Ruscha, who admittedly strived to be the Henry Ford of bookmaking, captured bland snapshots of images so boring it's fascinating that someone would notice them in the first place. In fact, the Library of Congress initially rejected the books as a result of their unorthodox form.
The exquisitely banal exhibition will show from March 5 until April 27 at Gagosian Gallery in New York.
Take a peek at the images below and let us know if you find the fruits of Ruscha's labor fascinating... or just plain boring.
Interior view of "Twenty Six Gasoline Stations" © Edward Ruscha. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery”
Interior view of "Twentysix Abandoned Gas Stations" by Jeffrey Brouws ©Jeffrey Brouws. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever
Interior view of "Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles" by Edward Ruscha ©Hermann Zschiegner. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever
Interior view of "Thirtyfour Parking Lots on Google Earth" ©Hermann Zschiegner. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever
Jeffrey Brouws, "Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations" 1992 Softcover, printed wrappers, with glassine, 7 x 5 inches
Edward Ruscha, "Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles," 1967
Also on HuffPost: