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Raymond Pettibon in "Humor"

Raymond Pettibon’s drawings and paintings pair text and image in provocative and sometimes disconcerting ways, creating a powerful comic art for adults. Pettibon explains, “even though my work is usually just one drawing, it is more of a narrative than it is a cartoon with a punch line and a resolution and a laugh at the end.”

The characters of Gumby and Vavoom are recurring motifs in his work, but so are American presidents like Nixon and Reagan. Pettibon finds subjects for satire and social commentary in a broad range of images from popular culture. “I don’t feel constrained by subject matter, “ he says, “I welcome practically anything into the drawing.”

More information and credits


Created by: Susan Sollins & Susan Dowling. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve-Laure Moros Ortega. Associate Producer: Migs Wright. Assistant Curator: Wesley Miller. Production Manager: Alice Bertoni & Laura Recht. Production Coordinator: Kelly Shindler & Sara Simonson. Director of Education & Outreach: Jessica Hamlin. Producer: Catherine Tatge. Editor: Steven Wechsler. Host Segment Artist: Charles Atlas. Host: Margaret Cho. Host Segment Guest: Bruce Daniels. Director of Photography: Bob Elfstrom, Mead Hunt, Ken Kobland, Kirk Miller, & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Tom Bergin, Doug Dunderdale, Richard Fleming, Judith Karp, Mark Mandler, Martyn Truman, & Bill Wander. Gaffer/Grip: Ned Hallick, Cricket Peters, Andrew Wilson, & Jesse Wine. Assistant Camera: Jarred Alterman, Craig Feldman, Brian Hwang, & Kipjaz Savoie. Production Assistant: Eric Kutner, Ronny Merdinger, Dawn Watson, & Pamela Whidden. Assistant Avid Editors: Julie Farol, Geoff Gruetzmacher, Daniel Nelson, & Jeremy Siefer. Still Photography: Alice Bertoni & Bob Elfstrom.

Creative Consultant: Ed Sherin. Graphic Design & Animation: Open, New York. Animation, Visual Effects & Compositing: Spontaneous Combustion. On-Line Editor: Don Wyllie & Frame:Runner NYC. Composer: Peter Foley. Voice-Over Artist: Jace Alexander. Sound Editing: Margaret Crimmins, Greg Smith, & Dog Bark Sound. Sound Mix: Tony Volante & Soundtrack F/T. Animation Stand: Frank Ferrigno & Frame:Runner NYC.

Artworks courtesy of: Eleanor Antin; Walton Ford; Elizabeth Murray; Raymond Pettibon; Electronic Arts Intermix, New York; Ronald Feldman Fine Arts; Paul Kasmin Gallery; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; & David Zwirner Gallery.

Special Thanks: The American Museum of Natural History; The Art21 Board of Trustees; Jamie Bennett; Andrea and Eric Colombel; Cate Ellison; Bruce Gluck; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; PaceWildenstein; Sallie Slate; Karen Taussig; Jonathan Turer; & Wingate Studio.

Interns: Sharon Ber, Elana Davidian, Eliza Geddes, Karmin Guzder, Ehren Joseph, Lisa Kalikow, Lila Kanner, Crystal Kui, Daniela Leonard, Ronny Merdinger, Parth Savla, Kristen Smith, Whitney Smith, Morgan Soloski, Jo-ey Tang, Asya Varshishky, Jesse Whittle-Utter, & Jeremy Zilar.

Public Relations: Kelly & Salerno Communications. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman. Bookkeeper: William Handy.

Major underwriting for Season 2 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Allen Foundation for the Arts, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Bloomberg, The Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Nonprofit Finance Fund, JPMorgan Chase, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, New York Arts Recovery Fund, Peter Norton Family Foundation, New York Times Company Foundation, Dorothea L. Leonhart Foundation, and Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Raymond Pettibon

A cult figure among underground music devotees for his early work associated with the Los Angeles punk rock scene, Raymond Pettibon has acquired an international reputation as one of the foremost contemporary American artists working with drawing, text, and artist’s books. Pettibon is as likely to explore the subject of surfing as he is typography; themes from art history and nineteenth-century literature appear in the same breath as 1960s American politics and contemporary pop culture. In the 1990s, Pettibon extended his work beyond the printed page and onto the walls of the exhibition space, creating wall-size drawings and collages.

“I don’t feel constrained by subject matter. I welcome practically anything into the drawing.”

Raymond Pettibon

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Political Cartoons—Patty Hearst and the Presidents

In this interview, Raymond Pettibon talks about walking the fine line between anger and humor.

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