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Raymond Pettibon Biography

Raymond Pettibon as a contemporary American artist best known for his drawings combining images and text. He often depicts violent subject matter with ironic humour, and an anti-authoritarian streak is evident in much of his work. His black and white images, rendered on white paper with India ink, are his most well-known, but he also uses watercolours, pencils, gouache and acrylics. He is influenced by cartoons as much as the paintings of Edward Hopper and Francisco Goya. William Blake is also a notable inspiration. Pettibon came to prominence through his work with seminal punk rock and Avant Garde music groups like Sonic Youth and Black Flag, for whom he designed a “four bars” logo in the 1970s that has since become iconic.

Raymond Pettibon drew album covers, flyers, posters for shows, and assorted other music-related ephemera throughout the 1970s and 80s. In 1978 he began to produce what he called “Superflux Pubs,” which are hand-made limited edition photocopied booklets of his work. He established an independent magazine, Tripping Corpse, as an outlet for his illustrations from 1981-1986. In 2004 he received the Bucksbaum Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art. This accolade was followed in 2010 by the University of Vienna’s Oscar Kokoschka Prize.

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