Raymond Pettibon, Buy This Painting for $50 (1983)
Raymond Pettibon (born 1957, Tucson) is an American artist with an early history grounded in the Los Angeles underground punk scene.
The younger brother of guitarist and songwriter for Los Angeles’s legendary punk band, Black Flag, Pettibon became exposed to a subculture that was current, abrasive, and loud at an early age. He quickly became eager to participate by drawing graphic, comic-inspired imagery to be published in zines, and used for band fliers and album artwork. Among the impressive roster of indie and punk bands that have commissioned the artist, some of his most widely recognized album covers include those for the Foo Fighters, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, and the Minutemen.
Buy This Painting for $50 (1983), is an early work on paper that comes from the collection of Exene Cervenka of the Los Angeles punk band “X”. The image of an unclad female reposed in bed with the words “Love” and “Haight” painted across her thighs shows how wittily Pettibon employs text to accompany what has been illustrated.
Perhaps Pettibon is speaking against consumer culture, as the words “Buy This Painting for $50” are carefully included at the top of the drawing. The reclining nude represents the archetypal hippie, with words, phrases, and symbols decorating her body in protest of a greater outside corporate or consumer power. The biting irony of this is that she herself has become a painted billboard and the artist leaves us with the question of who or what is for sale. Is Pettibon’s title referring to this drawing, or is the title an ironic comment on “free” love. Perhaps the subject figure herself is the painting that is for sale.
This work presents a rare opportunity to acquire a vividly rendered early ink drawing by the artist with exceptional and unique provenance.
Buy This Painting for $50
Black ink on paper
Signed and dated verso “Raymond Pettibon 7-83”; inscribed “Buy This Painting for $50” upper center
Sheet: 9″ x 12″
Provenance: Exene Cervenka of the band “X” (acquired directly from the artist, 1983)
To be offered in the May 19, 2013 Modern Art & Design Auction