Ed Ruscha: Laurel Canyon / Ventura Boulevard
In his Petro Plots suite of prints (2001)—the title plays on the idea of petroglyphs or rock paintings—Ed Ruscha depicts aerial views of famous Los Angeles intersections embedded into stone surfaces, referencing the geological diversity of the Southern California landscape. This example depicts the meeting of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, an area named for the studio lot that was established there by film producer Mack Sennett in 1927.
Printed in relief on highly textured handmade deckled paper, the familiar subjects of Petro Plots assume a quasi-historical significance, as if observed from the perspective of a future archaeologist. Using an aerial vantage point familiar from many other of his works, Ruscha isolates his chosen sites from LA’s hustle and bustle, making them feel closer to the area’s natural topography. He also applied a metallic pigment to the printing plate, resulting in a subtly shimmering effect.