The visceral intellectuals

Raymond Pettibon’s illustrated world, where comic book mobsters meet punk rock literati head on, has come for many to embody the visual aesthetic of the No Wave movement. His loose, tumbling ink and paint drawings have adorned everything from the covers of Sonic Youth albums, and the photocopied pages of a decade’s worth of zines, to the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. To some he’s the ultimate outsider, painting and drawing the awkward underside of Los Angeles as the illustrator’s answer to Charles Bukowksi. To others he’s the godfather of disobedient art, the one who opened the doors for the Barry McGees and Ed Templetons of the world, moving art from the streets and basements to gallery walls. Still others would criticize him as a half-assed scenester, capitalizing on his famous friends and acquaintances.

Regardless of whether it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time or true inspiration, it’s impossible to discount the impact of Raymond Pettibon’s role on today’s young art scene. Drawing from sources high and low, he creates works of art that embody the agitated consciousness of today’s lost youth. From classic literature to radical politics to Gumby, there is no context too obscure or too holy to mash its way through Pettibon’s work.

Hans Weigand’s perception of contemporary culture, however, extends well beyond the canvas. With works like "Johnny Cotton," Weigand turns the aesthetic language of mid-century science fiction and the murmur of everyday politics into a contextually manic mix of video, photography and sculpture. Unlike Pettibon, Weigand’s work is crisp, purposeful and direct. But like Pettibon, he creates a world that forces the viewers to analyze not only the cycles of information they receive, but their role in its conveyance.

Both men will be gracing Portland in dual capacities next week. On April 7 at 7 p.m. Pettibon and Weigand will give insight into their cultural landscapes at PICA (224 N.W. 13th Ave.) and on April 8 they’ll be destroying yours with their band Crinkum Crankum at Holocene (1001 S.E. Morrison St.).