Soundings: Season 3 Episode 7

Raymond Pettibon

On purism and art making, punk, surf culture, misheard song lyrics, art world disenchantment, what keeps him going as an artist, and Black Flag.

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Raymond Pettibon is a prolific artist and Hermosa Beach native who is well-known for his surfing motifs and involvement with the California punk rock scene. Having created album covers for such innovative bands as Black Flag and Sonic Youth, Pettibon’s work can be considered foundational for the economy of visual images commonly associated with “punk.” Much of Pettibon’s work is inlaid with an appeal to the spiritual, using color and line to invoke an overall sense of immateriality and anti-institutionalism. Having grown disenchanted with the art world, Pettibon has more recently turned to composing short written works that he posts on Twitter. Here, he sits down with Jamie Brisick to talk about the curious relationship between text and image, the writing process and “writing in transit,” how surf culture taught him the dangers of becoming entirely consumed by one’s craft, and his life as an artist.

Produced by Jonathan Shifflett.
Music by Paz Lenchantin.

Feature image by Jason Schmidt, courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.