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Ed Ruscha: Sunset Boulevard and Other LA Streets

Ride shotgun through mid-century LA with Ed Ruscha’s photos and Jack Kerouac’s words.

The US artist Ed Ruscha has created a celebrated body of work inspired by the iconic seediness of Los Angeles – its cars, billboards, gas stations and low-slung houses all strung out in a seemingly endless sprawl. This short film combines photos from the Getty Research Institutes’s Ed Ruscha’s Streets of Los Angeles Archive with audio of Ruscha reading LA-inspired passages from another major influence on his art, Jack Kerouac’s 1957 beat classic On The Road. Commissioned by the Getty Museum to mark Ruscha receiving the 2019 Getty Medal for contributions to the arts, the film by the US director Matthew Miller is a kinetic slice of Americana so pure you can almost smell Kerouac’s invoked apple pie – or maybe it’s the faint stench of exhaust fumes.