On a recent flight east, I saw this amazing earthly production.
Leaving the Los Angeles basin around one p.m., housing quickly cedes to the desert. Mountains erupt, giving way to valleys, some fertile. Then Mother Nature pulls out all her geologic parlor tricks. Majestic escarpments, hued russet, pink, apricot, salmon and wheat, all undulating in pinnacles and peaks, crevasses and cirques. And slowly, east of the Front Range in Colorado, little green circles and squares salute the irrigation dreamers, without whom our food world would be very expensive. It’s now dusk in the Midwest, so there’s a gloaming 30 minutes or so. Ed Ruscha is in charge of the color palette in the sky, gradients of ombre sunset tones slowly receding into dusk. About 30 minutes before landing, the diamante pillows of urban lights quilt the land. Rivers have disappeared, all sense of dimension and scale given the night off.
N.B. Owing to copyright restrictions, I offer this link for a glimpse into Ruscha’s color mastery.
The University of California published Ed Ruscha and the Great American West in 2016.