A: Black Flag Playbill B: Black Flag Handbill C: Circle Jerks Playbill
The artist connecting art, music and fashion
Raymond Pettibon is the artist who connected art and hardcore punk culture. His known style is drawings inspired from comic strips and B movie characters fused with literary texts. Even those of us who don’t know his work must have seen the “Four Bars” logo of Black Flag or the cover art of Sonic Youth’s masterpiece album “Goo”.
Black Flag is a hardcore punk band, formed by the brother of Pettibon, Gregg Ginn, in Southern California in 1976. Pettibon himself was also a part of the band as a bass player in its early days. After leaving the band, he moved into the world of art. Back then, under the influence of the punk movement from London, Black Flag’s unique rough American sound attracted punk kids and skaters. The band pioneered the hardcore punk scene which later sparked the grunge movement lead by bands such as Sonic Youth and Nirvana. As an artist who made artwork for these legendary bands, Pettibon still has many fans in the creative world. Dior A/W 2019 men’s collection featured many items with Pettibon’s original artwork. In the past, Pettibon has collaborated with Supreme; his works being featured on their t-shirts and skateboard decks. His works continue to gain attention in the fashion world over decades.
Pettibon’s original drawings used in Black Flag and Circle Jerks flyers and tickets shown here are owned and provided by Keith Morris – a living legend of the hardcore scene. Morris was the original singer of Black Flag, later joined Circle Jerks, and currently is the vocalist of the band OFF!. Morris had few things to say about Pettibon: “Back then artists created cover art and flyers and stuff not for money but simply because they liked the band. No one received any payments for their work but they were always on the guestlist and had beers with the bands backstage. I went to the same High School as Raymond and his brother Greg and his twin sister Erica. I started a band called Panic! with Greg which later became Black Flag. It was Raymond who came up with the name Black Flag. When he was chosen as the first bassist for Black Flag, he taught himself how to play bass. But it was obvious he didn’t want to be a permanent member of the band. He was always drawing, and you could tell that by looking at his work. All the artwork we used for the band were chosen from the pile of his drawings. He let us use whatever we wanted to. Raymond also came up with the “Four Bars” logo.
Exhibiting at an influential and internationally acknowledged gallery David Zwirner and establishing the category of drawing in the contemporary art scene, Pettibon has grown to be regarded as one of the contemporary artists representing America today. I am looking forward to seeing his new works at the age of 61, but there are few events coming up at the end of March showcasing his past works which I think are worth mentioning. On Friday March 29th, there is a pop-up event featuring new collection from Keith Morris’ t-shirt brand “Image Club Limited” at Journal Standard Omotesando, and on the following day at Waiting Яoom in Daikanyama. At both locations, flyers and backstage passes from Black Flag and Circle Jerks and many other archives, including photographs owned by Keith, will be exhibited. On both days Keith will be DJing at the respective shops. You might have a chance to ask him about Pettibon or other tales, surrounded by Pettibon’s original drawings and his bands’ paraphernalia. Don’t miss this rare chance to see Pettibon’s original archive, the artist who connected art, music and fashion.
Born 1957 in Arizona, raised in California. Known for the album cover art for his brother Greg Ginn’s band Black Flag. He has designed various album covers and flyers for many bands.
Photo Taijun Hiramoto
Text Takayasu Yamada
||Translation Akiko Watanabe