AMERICAN, b. 1967

Raymond Pettibon is known for his comic-like drawings with disturbing, ironic or ambiguous text, Pettibon’s subject matter is sometimes violent and anti-authoritarian. From the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, he was closely associated with the punk rock band Black Flag and the record label SST Records, both founded by his older brother Greg Ginn. Beginning in the mid-1980s, he became a well-known figure in the contemporary art scene. Pettibon came to prominence in the early 1980s in the southern California punk rock scene, creating posters and album art mainly for groups on SST Records. He has subsequently become widely recognized in the fine art world for using American iconography variously pulled from literature, art history, philosophy, and religion to politics, sport, and sexuality. In addition, Pettibon has designed the cover of the 1990 Sonic Youth album Goo.

Pettibon works primarily with India ink on paper and many of his early drawings are black and white, although he sometimes introduces color through the use of pencil, watercolor, collage, gouache or acrylic paint. He has stated that his interest in this technique is a result of the influence of artists such as William Blake and Goya, and the style of political editorial cartoons. His drawings come out by the hundreds. He started to publish them as limited-edition photocopied booklets in 1978. These booklets, which he continues to produce as “Superflux Pubs,” are considered “the sum of his ideas and aesthetics”. Pettibon started working in collage in the mid-80s with simple newsprint elements collaged onto black and white images. In his new works, the artist again uses the means of collage.

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