Recognize this classic? Raymond Pettibon, an artist best known for his comic drawings and captions designed the above logo for Black Flag, an influential hardcore band in the 80’s. Wikipedia hosts a robust entry on the artist, including the background on the band (he was a member from 1976-1978.)
I was reminded of his work earlier this morning when visiting the David Zwirner site; Pettibon’s latest show is currently on display at the gallery. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to see the show yet, but as a hold over I’ve put together a few of my favorite Pettibon album designs.
I’m not sure if “enjoy” is the right word to describe my feelings towards this album cover; the Canadian in me seeks law and order at all times, but it’s hard not respond the androgynous figures, the suggestion of incestuous relations, and of course, murder. Also, Goo happens to be a great album so there’s at least one other reason to purchase it aside from the art.
Raymond Pettibon, My War, 1983
Probably my favorite Pettibon covers are those he did for Black Flag. This band seemed to receive work that used color and blacks more aggressively than in some of his other work for bands ( The Minutemen’s Paranoid Time for example.) It matches their style of music perfectly; even if I do find “later” Henry Rollin’s intensely abrasive in his boldness.
The Minutemen, What Makes a Man Start Fires, 1983
Following Paranoid Time, Pettibon designed one of my favorite covers, What Makes a Man Start Fires, by the Minutemen. Admittedly I’m a sucker for brown and yellow combinations, but the angry child torching a bed surely has universal appeal!
Raymond Pettibon, Foo Fighers’ One by One, 2002
I hate to end on a sour note, but after twenty years of designing brilliant album covers, Pettibon makes this Jim Dine inspired heart. I suppose if I were to say anything positive about the piece it’s that he managed to match the quality of the band.