Recognized as one of the most inventive and influential artists of recent times, Ed Ruscha remains a difficult artist to categorize. His use of language and imagery drawn from popular media has associated him with Pop art and neo-Surrealism, while some of his work has been said to have foreshadowed Conceptual art.
Bedcrumbs belongs to a series of 'stain paintings' in which Ruscha created images of words by staining fabrics with substances including blueberry, beet and cherry extract, egg white and yolk, spinach, and tea. This technique allowed the artist to produce work while maintaining his decidedly averse stance to putting paint to canvas. While the substitution of non-traditional materials for paint was not new for the artist, substitution of other fabrics for canvas was innovative for the artist at the time. His work on moire is said to reflect Ruscha's "spatial interests by obscuring the differences between the two-dimensional letters and the implied three-dimensional grounds." (L. Cathcart, Edward Ruscha, Buffalo, 1976, p. 7).
Fig. 1 Nan Goldin, Joey and Andres in Hotel Askanischer Hof, Berlin, 1992