Daily Dose Pick: Dirty Baby

Artist Ed Ruscha, musician Nels Cline, and poet David Breskin combine creative disciplines in Dirty Baby, an art book that’s also a multimedia work of art.

Reminiscent of a record album (complete with A and B sides) and packaged with four CDs, Dirty Baby isn’t meant to be read as much as it’s meant to be experienced: the pictures, music, and words are best when they’re absorbed as one. Ruscha’s haunting images provide a visual counterpoint to Breskin’s ghazals — lyric poems with a repeated rhyme, set to music composed and arranged by Wilco guitarist Cline.

One of Ruscha’s “censor strip” images from 1986 sold in 2004 for $623,500; the pictures in Dirty Baby provide a new and more affordable context for his brilliantly simple conceits.

Download the ghazals “In God We Trust” and “You Won’t Know WHEN You Won’t Know WHERE You Won’t Know WHO and You Won’t Know WHY” by David Breskin (© David Breskin, courtesy Cryptogramophone)

Download the songs “In God We Trust” and “You Won’t Know WHEN You Won’t Know WHERE You Won’t Know WHO and You Won’t Know WHY” by Nels Cline (© Nels Cline, courtesy Cryptogramophone)

Read a Q&;A with David Breskin on Dirty Baby, buy a copy for yourself, and if you’re in the LA area, catch Ruscha, Cline, and Breskin presenting Dirty Baby live.

Click through below for a gallery of Ruscha’s images from the book.


Ed Ruscha, Joshua Tree, acrylic on canvas, copyright Ed Ruscha