Today I’m off to Los Angeles. Since this has become Schjeldahl Week, I’ll share a story from his 1981 essay, L.A. Demystified! Art and Life in the Eternal Present:
Rusha dates starlets, always has. Once when I went to lunch with him at a restaurant near the Paramount lot, various angelic forms seemed to throw themselves at him out of the air. “Oh, Ed!” Bashful, smiling, folksy (from Oklahoma), Ruscha wears soft casual, terrific clothes and, always, terrific shoes. (Once, seated between two of the town’s top veteran artists at a dinner party, I heard absolutely nothing all evening but cars and shoes. Were they trying to drive me crazy?)
The reason I’m going to LA is to give a lecture (more info here). Like Schjeldahl, I hail from Minnesota. (Oklahoma natives are much more sophisticated). I don’t have soft casual clothes. I don’t date starlets. Please come to the lecture, but don’t laugh at my shoes.