In 1976, Raymond Pettibon went from being the bassist in his brother Greg Ginn's band then called Panic to being its official iconographer. He gave the band a new name, Black Flag. He created the four-bar logo that a million infatuated punks would permanently etch into the skin of their arms, chests, and necks. And he did the ink drawings (slutty nuns, Charles Manson, family murder-suicides) that visually branded Black Flag's albums, flyers, and merch.
But Pettibon is way more than a prominent footnote in the history of L.A. punk. He's become the uncanny chronicler of an expiring America. For proof, check out Repeater Pencil, a video project showing at World Class Boxing through the end of February. It's a ten-minute montage of barely animated drawings (surfers, junkies, anonymous film noir figures) set to a soundtrack featuring fragmented dialogue, literary quotes, and apocalyptic pronouncements. This is a trip to the edge of the continent.
Nov. 14-Feb. 28, noon, 2009