GAL CHEWS GUM, 2019 - 2021
Cast bronze with hand applied patina
14.25 x 20 x 4.25 inches
Edition of 40
GAL CHEWS GUM speaks to several eras of Ruscha's practice in creating something simultaneously nostalgic, droll and modern. The phrase, "GAL CHEWS SAME PIECE OF GUM SINCE 1970" recalls images of small-town roadside attractions or local news headlines. Ruscha once said, "I'm dead serious about being nonsensical." Although this statement might initially read like an off-handed quip, it is highly representative of his practice. His ability to stir the viewer's imagination with a suggestive or illusive choice of words allows for both a conceptual and visual experience that leaves room for interpretation.
"I'm interested in glorifying something that we in the world would say doesn't deserve being glorified. Something that's forgotten, focused on as though it were some sort of sacred object." - Ed RuschaVariations of this text has appeared twice in Ruscha's previous works, indicating his ongoing fascination with the phrase. In this edition, the viewer's three-dimensional experience with the text varies depending on placement of the sculpture, light sources and the space it inhabits. As the light source or vantage point changes, the phrase is legible or obscured as the cut-out words are filled and activated by whatever exists behind them.
The base of GAL CHEWS GUM is cast from a metal ingot with a textured surface that stands in contrast to the smooth, refined face of the sign. A basic component used in metal work, construction and manufacturing, the ingot's raw form exists in tension with the linear precision of the sign.
IdeationThrough various rounds of collaborating and experimenting with materials, the concept for the final result was conceived.
The first step in bringing this edition to life is pouring the bronze into a custom mold. Each cast requires precision and complete stillness in order to prevent air bubbles from forming.
The Water JetOnce the process at the foundry is complete, the plates are water-jetted, where the letters are individually cut from the metal plate using high-pressure water.
PatinaNext, the sculptures undergo a customized patina process specifically developed for this edition.
The Final ResultOnce the patina process is completed, the sculptures are brought to The Lapis Press. Each sculpture is presented in a custom, handmade wood box with a colophon page.
The Making of GAL CHEWS GUMPlease enjoy this short process video.
GAL CHEWS GUM by Ed Ruscha
GAL CHEWS GUM by Ed Ruscha is a bronze edition that combines multiple aspects of Ruscha's iconic vision into a single form: text, signage and shadows. The sculpture is fabricated using the ancient lost wax method of bronze casting that dates back to the 3rd millenium BC. The bronze conjures a weathered road sign or billboard flashing the words "GAL CHEWS SAME PIECE OF GUM SINCE 1970".