Raymond Pettibon was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1957, but spent his childhood in Hermosa Beach, California. After graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles with a degree in economics, Pettibon received his BFA in 1977. His artistic career began to take off in the early 1980’s. During this time, he produced album artwork and posters for many punk rock bands such as Black Flag and Sonic Youth.
Much of Pettibon’s work incorporates harsh and equivocal text and imagery. While some of the text is borrowed, others are Pettibon’s original words. His style echoes that of comics and includes motifs from youth-culture, politics, sports, and celebrity. While his early works were completed in black and white, often with the use of India ink, later in his career Pettibon began incorporating color using paint, collage, watercolor, gouache, and pencil. He is known for his edgy one-liners and raw depiction of youth culture and the punk scene.
Pettibon’s most recent works critique contemporary controversies such as the Iraq War and American politics. Pettibon is currently living and working in New York City.
Retrospectives of his works have been held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Santa Monica Museum of Art in Santa Monica, California; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California. His work is included in collections such as The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California; The Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois; Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas; Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California.