Ray Pettibon, No Title (He began to), 2007, Pen, ink, acrylic, and gouache on paper, 13 x 22 1/4 inches. Image courtesy David Zwirner
Every once and a while I read a piece so good it makes me jealous I didn’t write it myself. Todd Gibson used to do that a lot when he wrote From the Floor, and most recently, Deborah Fisher at ArtCal Zine inspired these same feelings with Fuck You, Ray. Here’s Your Irony Back. Her piece doesn’t specifically address individual works in Raymond Pettibon’s show at David Zwirner, but better, she talks about the larger ideas Pettibon has raised over his life time of work, and how punk rock music and art effected us now, and how it should inspire us now. Though not the crux of the piece, I quote my favorite Fisher moment below; a knowingly flawed position that inspires a hypothetical conversation between Cheney and Ray Pettibon about his exhibition.
I have been writing and deleting this next part for awhile. Every time I continue my thought, it comes out something like this:
“The evildoers have caught on to this symbiosis, and understand that Pettibon has a role to play in distracting us from our own role in what they are doing.”
But that sounds needlessly like a conspiracy; as if Cheney (or whoever is filling Rove’s shoes these days) called Pettibon and said, “Ray: about your show at Zwirner? What we need to do is make everyone who’s rich or even remotely intellectually powerful think that they are doing something countercultural, but we don’t want any actual revolutions happening here — it’s not like we were exactly elected, you know, and we need to be careful. So if you could just make some drawings that made people feel how evil we are, and how futile it is to resist us, that would be great. In fact, it would be better if you could put them in a blue-chip gallery and not in a ‘zine, so you won’t inspire any other DIY self-expression, but keep it purely on the commodity level.”
Now, read the full piece here.