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Raymond Pettibon Exhibit at Regen Projects

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Raymond Pettibon's name may forever be linked to SST Records, especially the Minutemen and his brother Greg's band, Black Flag. Pettibon got his start drawing up flyers and album covers for 1980s South Bay punk bands. The collection currently showing at Regen Projects is drawn from this era, when Pettibon's work was particularly raw and intense.

The deceptively simple pen and ink drawings push the limitations of black and white, exploring light and shadow along the continuum from the subtle to the stark. Pettibon has an instinctive feel for composition, making the works pull you in and remain visually appealing even when the subject matter is not. Taboo themes of fascism, betrayal, incest and murder are often treated with wry humor; heavy topics set in juxtaposition with gleeful mischief.

If you own all of the Black Flag albums, collect the flyers and pamphlets, and have bought all of the books, you may think you have seen all of Pettibon's early work. But this artist is unbelievably prolific. There are drawings here you have definitely not seen. If you are unfamiliar with Pettibon, this is an important exhibit that will open your eyes to a period of time when our generation's political outsider art was in its infancy. These works inspired a whole new genre of artists, emphasizing contrast, mixing text with illustration, and exploring the world with a pessimistic yet tongue-in-cheek perspective.

LAist was at the opening Saturday night at Regen Projects to scope out the exhibit, take these lovely photos for you, and to pester Jack Black. The exhibit will be on display until October 18, 2008.