Telling’ is one in a series of eight colour etchings. A copy of each was bound into an artist book by Ruscha in 1988. In the 1980s Ruscha created a number of paintings and prints using simple, picture book images such as these in silhouette, which were then blurred or distorted. Many of these motifs were derived from childhood books and magazines, marking a departure from the slick Los Angeles based imagery of his earlier work. In each of these etchings Ruscha focuses on an individual object against a blank backdrop in the same way that he has often focussed on isolated words taken out of context.