Jan 20, 2011 12:00AM

Eddie Ruscha's Secret Circuit

An artist breaks out of his father's shadow.

DREAD AT THE CONTROLS (2008), ACRYLIC AND MARIJUANA ON CANVAS. PHOTO: JOSHUA WHITE.

Eddie Ruscha is an Los Angeles-based artist and musician and son of renowned American artist Ed Ruscha. I was motivated to interview Eddie as my gallery shares its name with one of his father's paintings, exhibited in the American pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

SECRET CIRCUIT LIVE AT THE AIRLINER, LOS ANGELES.

Melissa Loughnan: How would you differentiate your fine art practice from your father's, and is it at all inspired by his career?
Eddie Ruscha: Well, in a lot of ways I see it as very different. Music is such a totally different creative approach. In a lot of ways I find myself going towards things he wouldn't do, not to be contrary, but just genuinely out of my own interests. For instance, I gravitate to things that are almost supernatural. At the same time we're similar in that we're both guided by things that can't be explained rationally, and can accept something as art that may have come from a dream, say. Also we have a real similar sense of humor. I really just gravitate to music because it's a place of fire for me. Sound and rhythm and melodies are constantly in my brain, like a soundtrack I can't turn off. I really just like making music that I think I've never heard before. I'm always searching.

You produce experimental music under the moniker Secret Circuit, and as part of the Food of the Gods supergroup with DJ Harvey and Thomas Bullock. How does your involvement in music relate to the work that you exhibit in galleries?
Most of my visual work is related to music in some way or another, whether it's psychedelic poster art, or rock and roll rebellion and excess. I've made work that involves sound installation and performance, and I also make paintings that are completely boxed in and controlled. I also do a lot of album art design and things like that. For me it's all part of the same package.

NEW WORLD (2008), ACRYLIC ON CANWAS. PHOTO: JOSHUA WHITE.

Eddie Ruscha will exhibit as part of the upcoming Noise In My Head 5th Anniversary Exhibition at Goodtime Studios, 746 Swanston St, Melbourne, from 28 to 30 January 2011, alongside local artists such as Thomas Jeppe and Misha Hollenbach of P.A.M. You can also see Eddie's music on his YouTube channel.

THIS IS IT (2008). HIGH ENERGE CONSTRUCTS, LOS ANGELES. PHOTO: JOSHUA WHITE.

Words: Melissa Loughnan

Arts contributor Melissa is the Founding Director of Melbourne's Utopian Slumps gallery.

www.utopianslumps.com

www.noiseinmyhead.com.au