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Allen Ruppersberg

Still Life

1982

Allen Ruppersberg creates paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, installations, and books that explore ideas related to the intersection of art, written material, and life. The artist mines his own collection of 20th-century cultural ephemera, including calendars, snapshots, magazines, comic books, newspaper clippings, postcards, posters, and instructional films, for source material. For Still Life, Ruppersberg reproduced a newspaper article recounting the tale of a young man hired by a friend to kill his mother by copying it onto canvas, adding his own commentary (including the phrase "Translated by Allen Ruppersberg"), thus taking the story from life into art.

Allen Ruppersberg (b. 1944, Cleveland, Ohio; lives and works in Santa Monica, California)
Still Life, 1982
Acrylic on canvas with ten concrete heads
Paintings: 96 x 66 in. each
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Gift of anonymous donor and the artist

I’m basically a pulp artist. As popular culture grows and at times threatens to overwhelm everything, I think any artist is aware of his relationship to it. At the same time, I also believe art is not popular culture or entertainment. —Allen Ruppersberg