Ed Ruscha may be known as a quintessential California artist, but the Nebraska-born painter’s first public commission currently resides in New York City. Ruscha is the latest in a range of artists called upon to grace the Highline, Manhattan’s once-defunct elevated rail line, now a breezy, award-winning pedestrian park.
Flanked by a melange of west side hotels, offices, and apartment buildings, the Highline presents a dramatic urban context and unique vantage point for large-scale works; and, not-surprisingly, Ruscha’s wry text-based composition makes an arresting sight. Unveiled this week, the exactingly hand-painted mural occupies the entire side of an adjacent apartment building, rising above the well-trafficked walkway, and presenting many a photo backdrop for tourists and locals alike.
The site-specific work appears to have been crafted just for New York City, but is, in fact, a re-imagining of Ruscha’s 1977 pastel on paper composition of the same title. Only, this being Manhattan, it’s much, much bigger.Images: The Highline