"You know, art can be something which can really disempower people, or it can be a vehicle which can empower people."
From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 2 (2003)
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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.”