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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Ed Ruscha: Drum Skins

Blanton Museum of Art / Austin / Art

“Basically everything I’ve done in art,” explains Ed Ruscha, “I was in possession of when I was 20 years old. I use a waste retrieval method of working.” For this series of round paintings, completed between 2017 and 2019, Ruscha retrieved the slang of his Oklahoma childhood. Repurposing a collection of drumheads assembled over 40 years, Ruscha painted the skins and wrote phrases on them, lines like “I Ain’t Telling You No Lie” and “I Never Done Nobody No Harm.” All the sentences are double or triple negatives, and all are grammatically incorrect. But the spirit is lighthearted. “It seems like you’d run from incorrect English,” Ruscha says, “but I embraced it. I like seeing it and exposing it.” —E.C.

Blanton Museum of Art 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78712
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