Ed Ruscha began his art studies at the Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts) after moving to Los Angeles in 1956. He co-edited and co-produced the journal Orb in his final year, and after graduation (1960) he worked as a layout artist for an advertising agency in Los Angeles. He had early success with his paintings and collages, which were considered part of the Pop art movement and were compared to the works of Jasper Johns (b. 1930) and Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008). While traveling in Europe during the summer of 1961, Ruscha made his first “word paintings.” Since then his interest in words and typography became integral to his body of work, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, books, and films. His images of words and phrases often contain comic or satirical connotations, alluding to popular culture and life in Los Angeles. Between 1963 and 1978 he worked on sixteen small folded artist’s books that feature photographs of his southern California surroundings. During the late 1960s and 1970s Ruscha was also noted for his use of unconventional materials (gunpowder and organic substances, such as food and blood). Since 1982 his work has been the focus of numerous retrospectives.