Rob Pruitt was born in Washington D.C. in 1964 and studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C. and Parsons School of Design in New York. He lives and works in New York.
Since the early 1990s, Rob Pruitt’s risk-taking investigations into American popular culture have taken many forms. From his notorious Cocaine Buffet (1998) and glitter portraits of Pandas or the significant Suicide Paintings series, Pruitt’s works are a surreal and extravagant interpretation of the pop world, a kaleidoscopic look towards mass culture by exploring the multiples aspects and the paradoxes of our present time.
Throughout his career, Rob Pruitt has fine-tuned his ability to express nuanced ideas about culture and society through the re-interpretation of common objects and materials, all filtered through a sense of humour and irony. With his Mask series, the artist continues his pursuit of depicting the complexities of personality and emotions. The facial gestures indeed are cut into the canvas with a razor - destructive and creative at the same time, these gestures are married to an accumulation of gradients, patterns, and prints to create a character.
His work has been included in numerous museum solo exhibitions, including a recent exhibition at Rebuild Foundation, Chicago (2019); Kunsthalle Zurich, curated by Daniel Baumann, Zurich (2017); Brant Foundation, Greenwich, (2015); a mid-career retrospective at Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2013); Dallas Contemporary, Dallas (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2015); Kunstverein, Freiburg (2012); Le Consortium, Dijon (2002); and group shows such as: From Day to Day, de la Cruz Collection, Miami (2019); The Shadows Took Shape, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2013); Pop Life, Tate Modern (2009); Mapping the Studio, Punta Della Dogana/Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2009). In 2009, he debuted the Rob Pruitt’s Annual Art Awards at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, an award show for the art world fashioned after the Oscars. In 2011, he was commissioned by the Public Art Fund to install The Andy Monument, a highly polished chrome sculpture of Andy Warhol (replete with shopping bags) in New York’s Union Square, near the site of Warhol’s Factory.