Raymond Pettibon

*1957 in Tucson, Arizona (USA)

You havenʼt really seen Paris ʼtil you have seen sex

Raymond Pettibon, exhibition view Beat the System!, 2021, © Raymond Pettibon, photo: Simon Vogel

Hardcore, punk, and subculture are terms that are associated with the person, but also with the art of Raymond Pettibon. He has been active in the context of the Californian underground scene since the 1980s, and has designed self-published booklets, concert flyers, and record covers. In his drawings, he incorporates personal experiences and artistic, cinematic, or literary quotes. Working mostly in ink, Pettibon compresses these works into complex combinations of image and text that cannot always be deciphered easily. The drawing You havenʼt really seen Paris ʼtil you have seen sex, for example, leaves many questions unanswered. The contrasting facial expressions of the two protagonists allow for no conclusions as to whether the shown situation is consensual or violent. Pettibon sees himself as a chronicler of his time, who critically comments on American politics and culture, and does not shy away from provocations and social taboos.


Raymond Pettibon, You haven’t really seen Paris ‘til you have seen sex, 1987, ink and watercolor on paper, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen, loan of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation, © Raymond Pettibon, photo: Carl Brunn