American draughtsman, born in Tucson, Arizona. He lives and works in California. His stark monochrome drawings reflect the style of commercial illustration and employ violent and satirical imagery. He originally published his drawings in small booklets but now his work is generally seen in a gallery setting, as in the room of drawings at documenta 11 in 2002, which reflected on the violence of terrorism. Pettibon draws on a mélange of images from high and low culture. This sometimes makes him opaque to a non-American audience: for instance, the cartoon figure of Gumby is either a treasured childhood memory or totally obscure. There is, however, a consistent emphasis on the culture of the 1950s and 1960s, the age marked at one end by Elvis Presley and at the other by the murderous Charles Manson. Robert Storr has argued that his work should be read as an unsparing analysis of the self-deceptions of the counter-culture of the 1960s.
R. Storr, Raymond Pettibon (2002)