No Title (Vavoom, He Could…)
Over the past 30 years, Raymond Pettibon’s graphic pen-and-ink drawings, which have graced the covers of punk album and do-it-yourself Xerox publications, have become among the most recognizable expressions of the Los Angeles art scene. The prolific nature of his work makes it difficult to single out individual drawings; a typical exhibition includes hundreds of examples pinned to the wall in a paper explosion of images and words. In No Title (Vavoom, He Could…), the gnome-like figure Vavoom, one of Pettibon’s most beloved subjects, blares wide-mouthed toward a landscape of glacial mountains. With its stark shading and nervous upper-case captions, the drawing is suffused with Everyman pathos, a send-up of the romantic experience of sublime nature.
Raymond Pettibon (b. 1957, Tucson, Arizona; lives and works in Hermosa Beach, California)
No Title (Vavoom, He Could…), 1990
Ink on paper
22 x 17 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Gift of Richard Heller, Bennett Roberts, and the artist