Anyone who misspent their youth listening to punk and loitering around their hometowns trying to steal beers and sneak into gigs underage will be familiar with the work of Raymond Pettibon. If not then you’ve probably unwittingly worn one of his T-shirts promoting Sonic Youth, a band for which he’s produced an enormous amount of work. His album artwork for Goo has drifted into the same ubiquitous territory occupied by the logos of The Ramones and The Rolling Stones, co-opted by fashion brands to lazily stand for counterculture and teenage rebellion.
But Raymond’s artwork actually came from the counterculture and a world of teenage rebellion as he cut his teeth producing flyer artwork for California’s most notorious punk-rock outfit, Black Flag. His work for the band is anarchic, furious and packed full of dark visual references, from the stereotypical inclusion of horned beasts to dancing dalmatians, and eventually even some straight-up abstract work, all rendered in his scratchy monochrome. Vice have just published a near-complete collection of all of his Black Flag flyers, a stunning archive that shows the sketchy but brilliant origins of an incredible artist.
And if the Vice archive doesn’t satisfy your thirst for Pettibon there’s also a recent exploration of his work over on MOCAtv. Enjoy!