Ed will be doing the favor/s for the ceremony.

OK, 1988, acrylic & varnish on canvas, 24 H x 75 W (inches)

November, 2011 Last weekend the Get Hubbied team met Ed Ruscha at Aardvark Letterpress to oversee the production of the favors Ed designed for the project. Aardvark has been nestled in the MacArthur Park neighborhood of Los Angeles since 1968. The press was founded by Luis Ocon and all of the letterpress printing is performed onsite by Luis, his sons Brooks and Cary, and their lead pressman, Oscar Gomez.

We were all sorts of rewarded to see the first finished favor come off the press after a two-step process that involved first di-cutting a couple of choice words into a thick piece of recycled paper. Bill Berkuta was our esteemed and masterful pressman in charge of this unique project. He's been in the business for 40 years (and counting) and was a pleasure to work with; he took great care with every single piece and due to the thickness and variance between each sheet, it took patience. The paper, and its hard to call it that due to its object meatiness, was handmade by Martha Starke from upstate NY. Bettina found her to work with after a long search, lots of digital ink back and forth and many samples sent and discussed. The second step was the letterpressing of a phrase below the die-cut. It just seems plain ole' wrong to describe this in any more detail - it just has to be seen to be appreciated, and I don't want to give it away, not unlike all of the other works the participating artists are making. Every couple/indivudual/family invited to the wedding will get one of these gems, and one of them will be in the exhibition opening the 2nd week of October (exact date to be announced soon). So, you'll just have to come and see.

Once again, Mr. Ruscha pulls through with a witty punch line, while at the same time giving us pause to think about the absurd reality and haunting reverberence of words.

People left and right are getting married, but we're certain here at HubbyCo, that the celebration we've concocted around the exchange of words is going to be the most special of the 5918 other ceremonies that are predicted to take place on the same day: September 25th. The whole journey is special, such as working with artists like Ed, but also getting to work with people like those at Aardvark and to be momentarily immersed into worlds otherwise off our radar - it fills us with immense pleasure, pride and anticipation to see the final culmination of everyone's efforts.

March 2011 - the first meeting with Aardvark I don't want to give away any of the artist's final plans, but I'll just say that Cary and Brooks, the owners of Aardvark Letterpress, and Bill, the very tall expert (with a pocket full of pens and tools that you wouldn't even believe if you saw it) are all enthused about this idea and the process. The letterpress text was challenging on this kind of paper. They are rock stars as far as I'm concerned. They made it work, and it was no simple plan. The die cut needs to be made, but all the logistics are in place.

click here for their website. Utilize their genius, and keep the art form alive.

The paper was more complex to sort out. I've been working with this lovely gal Martha in the mid-west for over a year to make the kind of paper that Ruscha described wanting for his idea, the wedding favor. As of this moment, I've gathered about 100 sheets of her paper. Its doesn't feel quite right to call it paper, since each sheet is an object in itself, and ten of them took a couple of weeks to make, dry and send. Ed wanted it as thick as you could get 'paper' and as homemade and recycled as is possible. I sampled a lot of artists who made paper until I found the right person. If you search for the company: Pulpart, at the www.etsy.com site, you'll find Martha's store. Here's what she said about the order the first time I made it:

Sent by PulpArt on November 05, 2009: I have never made anything like this before so I'm not sure if it would stand up or not. I think I could make pieces that would be about 1/2 inch in thickness but I don't know if they would stand. Anybody walking by who causes a breeze would probably make them fall over, or if a ceiling fan is on, they would catch the wind and fall over. What color are you looking for? Depending on the color, I may need a while to save up enough scraps. What is your timeline? How many pieces do you need and of what color? Best, Martha

And then the description of the order once I told her exactly what we were looking for, which has a certain poetry:

Extra thick white handmade paper - CUSTOM ORDER FOR HUBBYCO from PulpArt. Extra thick white handmade paper - CUSTOM ORDER FOR HUBBYCO. You will receive 10 pieces of extremely thick paper for your die cut project. Each sheet of paper is individually made by hand using an art form created by the Chinese over 1,000 years ago. I sift through my junk mail, old bills, letters and the like to find the highest quality paper. (You have to start with good paper to end up with good paper!) I do not use bleaches or dyes to color my paper. The color is determined from the scraps I use. I shred the recycled paper, combine it with water to make a pulp. A frame with a screen is pulled through the water to catch the pulp, which forms a sheet of paper that I air dry.

Ruscha has consistently combined the cityscape of his adopted hometown with vernacular language to communicate a particular urban experience. Encompassing painting, drawing, photography, and artist's books, Ruscha's work holds the mirror up to the banality of urban life and gives order to the barrage of mass media-fed images and information that confronts us daily. Ruscha's early career as a graphic artist continues to strongly influence his aesthetic and thematic approach.

Ruscha has been the subject of numerous museum retrospectives that have traveled internationally. The first comprehensive monograph on the artist, Richard Marshall's Ed Ruscha, was published by Phaidon in 2003. A major retrospective opened at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2009.

Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska. He lives and work in Los Angeles, and currently shows with Gagosian Gallery.

Click here for his website