Richard Pettibone is one of the pioneers of appropriation art. The artist helped set the stage for 80's appropriation art by recycling the pop culture appropriations of Pop Art.
Pettibone was born in Los Angeles, and first worked with shadow boxes and assemblages, illustrating his interest in craft, construction, and working in miniature scales. In 1964, he created the first of his appropriated pieces, two tiny painted “replicas” of the iconic Campbell’s soup cans by Andy Warhol.
By 1965, he had created several “replicas” of paintings by American artists, such as Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, and others, among them some of the biggest names in Pop Art.
Pettibone chose to recreate the work of leading avant-garde artists whose careers were often centered on themes of replication themselves, further lending irony to his work. Pettibone also created both miniature and life-sized sculptural works, including an exact copy of Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp, and in the 1980s, an entire series of sculptures of varying sizes replicating the most famous works of Constantin Brancusi.
In more recent years, Pettibone has created paintings based on the covers of poetry books by Ezra Pound, as well as sculptures drawn from the grid compositions of Piet Mondrian.
Pettibone straddles the lines of appropriation, Pop, and Conceptual Art, and has received critical attention for decades for the important questions his work raises about authorship, craftsmanship, and the original in art. His work has been exhibited at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, and the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA.
Pettibone is currently based in New York.