Ed Ruscha

oil on canvas
53 1/2 x 133 1/2 in
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Smithsonian Institution. Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972. Photo: Cathy Carver
acrylic on raw linen
20 x 14 in
Courtesy of Private Collection. © Ed Ruscha



acrylic on PVC coated fabric
24.75 x 36 feet (7.5 x 11 meters)
Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum purchase with proceeds from Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Art Auction 2006, and from prior donations by Susan and Frank Kockritz and Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge.© Ed Ruscha. Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann.

With this large mural piece, artist Ed Ruscha toys with the idea that characteristic qualities, such as bravery, can be transferred genetically. As a pop artist, Ruscha takes things and ideas that he has observed throughout pop culture and lets them influence his art. The vagueness of who the words “Brave Men Run In My Family” apply to, leaves the viewer to reflect on what Ruscha’s meaning is and how it relates to them personally.

Ruscha created this piece in La Jolla on the wall itself with acrylic paint on PVC fabric, then attached it to the wall. It took from 1995-1996 to create. The artist had background working in advertising before he became a full-time artist. 

oil on canvas
71 3/8 x 66 in. (181.3 x 167.6 cm)
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum purchase in memory of Lois Person Osborn, 1986.28 © Ed Ruscha