The shape and scale of this large work is a direct reference to public advertising billboards, which is a recurring motif in Ruscha’s work. In contrast to this the word ‘Hope’ is a very private emotion, filled with religious and spiritual connotations. This jars with the dark, menacing spray paint that the artist has used. With the final letter, ‘E’, almost obliterated in an explosion of darkness, the idea of hope dying or fading is suggested. Ruscha has used the word ‘Hope’ in several other paintings.