Ed Ruscha made a clever statement using banal materials and simple words .
It is not that I have to do that. No one is twisting my arm, really.
It is not that I must do that, as otherwise public scorn would twist my neck.
It is not that I can do that, for I don’t know if I can, actually.
This is RESOLVE at its best.
This is determination of a man who can’t avoid responsibility – and he is not necessarily happy to assume it either.
It is easy to know resolve in action movies, when the setting includes a countdown bomb display with 30 seconds to go, and the hero decides to stay and disarm the ticker or die.
It is more difficult to recognise resolve In the real life, when men have to show heroic resolution in mundane environment. Such as their own kitchen and dining table.
Hence the table mat.
Is this great art?
It is a great joke by a very talented artist. And a very expensive piece of joke at that, sitting nicely between Picassos and Max Ernstes, even though I can’t imagine why it is seen as a surrealist object.
It is very real to me.
P.S. Some intellectuals believe one can only be seen as an intellectual if he or she knows how to pronounce “Ed Ruscha”. It is stupid. But, just in case, it is pronounced “Roo-SHAY”. Next time you meet someone intellectual, you’d know what to ask them.