Rob Pruitt Is Booked

Published March 9, 2012

 2010 was a big year for iconoclastic, uninhibited pop artist Rob Pruitt. He produced a massive series of playfully pointed, street art-styled paintings based on Amish quilts, innocently mocking rubber-tire sculptures, and brightly colored, identity-splattering silkscreen self-portraits for “Pattern and Degradation,” his Rumspringa-inspired exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Maccarone gallery. Now, Pruitt is releasing a book that documents and reproduces works from that eventful period, complete with a series of specially designed covers that range from marble (“so that even if the book disintegrates, the cover will last forever”) to mirrors (“perfect for using the book to do cocaine on “) to Pruitt’s favorite, a copy with a hole drilled in one corner and a pair of handcuffs attached (“so that they can develop a really intense relationship for the book”).

“The book is eponymous, and it’s a big, thick book of everything I made that year,” Pruitt explains. “Ordinarily, I work alone, but I was so busy making all of this work for the show that I increased my studio assistant staff, and gained this huge, extended family in the process. It’s not really just about the works, and that’s a really nice feeling.”

Highlights from Rob Pruitt include images of some of the “less noticed” pieces from “Pattern and Degradation”—a wall of kitty cats that look like Adolf Hitler, a diorama of Pruitt’s Facebook friends, and a wall of every email correspondence from the year of the show (“It’s sort of like an automatic autobiography,” says Pruitt). A series of trash monster sculptures with automated eyes represent another high point for Pruitt. “They’re made from cardboard bundles—the type big box stores like Kmart throw away at the end of the day,” describes the artist. “And they really stand out to me. I still really love a lot of those works.”

Pruitt will be at Karma Bookstore in the West Village signing the works tomorrow from noon to 6pm. He looks forward to another ambitious year, with shows at the Kunstverein Freiburg during Art Basel in June and Milan’s Massimo De Carlo in the fall, not to mention a Jimmy Choo collaboration that will be unveiled in winter. He also recently designed the cover art for experimental songstress Meredith Monk’s new CD Monk Mix (Remixes and Interpretations of Music by Meredith Monk). “It just came out last week,” says Pruitt. “I’m really excited for people to see it because it’s something that isn’t about me, but that I worked very hard on.”