SVA's Nancy Princenthal Interviews Raymond Pettibon for 'The New York Times'
January 3, 2017
From The New York Times: “In his energetic drawings of baseball greats, Hollywood legends, comic book heroes and rock stars, of drug addicts, bikers and gangsters, Charles Manson and J. Edgar Hoover, Raymond Pettibon gives us the full sweep of the American social landscape.
Then he detonates it. Compounding his images—urgent, bold, often hallucinatory—are headlong inscriptions that mix original writing and material borrowed from authors spanning centuries. The medley can be clamorous. It is a vision of populism recast as anarchy.
‘If there’s any voice, it’s multiple, even within the same work,’ Mr. Pettibon said during my recent visit to his studio.
Rumpled and barefoot on a cold winter day, Mr. Pettibon, who turns 60 this year, seemed a little preoccupied. (As it turned out, he said he was ‘in the doghouse’ with his wife, the artist Aïda Ruilova, and was sleeping here on a daybed.)
When I asked what percentage of the writing in his work is original, he said, hesitantly: ‘I wouldn’t hazard a guess. But it’s not one or the other. Nothing comes out of thin air. We all live with the same language and influences.’ He added, ‘I’m just the conduit, the messenger.’
Perhaps no subject better captures the spirit of Mr. Pettibon’s drawings than that of surfers dwarfed by towering waves…” (For the full story and more images, click here)