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A book about parking lots sells for $1,200

dodger-stadiumThe one of the most interesting aspects of this job is that I learn something about books every day.

Today, I am learning about a book called Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles by Ed Ruscha and Art Alanis.

AbeBooks sold a first edition copy signed by Ruscha for $1,200 earlier this week. A book about parking lots (car parks in my language) for $1,200 dead presidents – who’d have thought?

Of course, artlovers (and art isn’t my forte) will know that Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles is a famous photography book from 1967. Ruscha, the artist, commissioned commercial photographer Alanis to take aerial shots of empty parking lots around the city. The pair flew around and around Los Angeles in a helicopter searching for eye-catching spaces of grid-patterned tarmac on a Sunday morning before the parking lots filled up.

There are images of lots by offices, film studios, Dodger Stadium – the world’s biggest car city without any cars. Ruscha was one of the driving forces behind the Pop Art movement. Another of his classic photography books is Twentysix Gasoline Stations from 1963.

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Richard Davies

2 Responses to “A book about parking lots sells for $1,200”

  1. Reminds me of what architectural critic Siegfried Gideon said about freeways in his book Space, Time and Archiecture (1953):

    “Riding up and down the long sweeping grades produces an exhilarating dual feeling, one of being connected with the soil and yet of hovering just above it, a feeling which is like nothing else so much as sliding swiftly on skis through untouched snow down the sides of high mountains.”

    Time changes. Cars multiply. We need to walk more:)

  2. Richard Davies
    Richard Davies August 4, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Agreed. We do need to walk more.