About The Artist
The younger brother of a guitarist and songwriter in legendary punk band Black Flag, Raymond Pettibon is an artist with an early history grounded in the Los Angeles underground punk scene. Pettibon became exposed to the subculture and participated by drawing graphic, comic-inspired imagery for 'zines, band fliers, and album artwork. Among the impressive roster of bands that have commissioned the artist for album covers are the Foo Fighters, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, and the Minutemen.
In the mid-1980s Pettibon gained recognition in the L.A. art scene, with his first gallery show in 1984. His illustrative work incorporates text and imagery about a range of subject matters involving politics, violence, sexuality, art, literature, sports, and religion. Untitled (What was, morally speaking, behind her veil?) from 1987 is an exemplary work by Pettibon, with deliberate strokes of black India ink, accompanied by cursive writing contained in a separated style text block that reads, “What was, morally speaking, behind her veil?” Pettibon speaks to the shifting socio-political climate of the late 1980s, addressing the conflict arising in the Middle East. Part of a project uniting surf and art, he was a natural choice to illustrate a surfboard–he surfed as a youth growing up in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. Surfers and giant blue waves are a recurring motif of his. True to form, as he often pairs cryptic texts with comic-book-style drawings, his Untitled (They say water finds the lowest place.) surfboard is awash in painterly blue waves crashing around the text.
Retrospectives of his work have been held at Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2002, an exhibition of his drawings, Plots Laid Thick, was organized by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain, and traveled to Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, and Haags Gemeentemuseum in the Netherlands. Pettibon’s work was also featured at Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany.
“Raymond Pettibon.” David Zwirner Gallery. David Zwirner, 2011. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.