Brad Pitt debuts as sculptor at first art gallery in Finland
The A-list Hollywood star unveils the sculptures – which he called a “radical inventory of self” – at the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere.
US actor Brad Pitt publicly debuted his first works of art in a lakeside museum in Finland, The Guardian reported.
His sculptures, which he called a “radical inventory of self”, were unveiled at the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere, a first for the “largely self-taught”, the gallery said.
Pitt, 58, revealed the sculptures himself on Saturday as part of a larger exhibition by the British artist Thomas Houseago, alongside a ceramic series by the Australian musician Nick Cave.
“For Nick and I this is a new world and our first entry. It just feels right,” the actor told the Finnish broadcaster Yle at the opening ceremony.
Among the nine works displayed included Aiming At You I Saw Me But It Was Too Late This Time, a moulded plaster panel “depicting a gunfight” between eight figures, including hands, feet, and faces attempting to break through the structure at various angles.
There are also a series of house-shaped silicone sculptures that have been shot with a different gauge of ammunition, as well as the actor’s first sculpture, House A Go Go, a miniature house made out of tree bark and held together with tape.
“To me, it’s about self-reflection. It’s about where I have gotten it wrong in my relationships, where have I misstepped, where am I complicit,” Pitt said at the opening. “For me, it was born out of ownership of what I call a radical inventory of self, getting really brutally honest with me and taking account of those I may have hurt, moments I have just gotten wrong.”
The actor added he began practicing pottery after his divorce from Angelina Jolie. He even invited Leonardo DiCaprio over to his studio during the making of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to “bond over their shared love of pottery."
Last month, Pitt told GQ that his interest in ceramics was not art-based, but a “solo, very quiet, very tactile kind of sport." But his involvement in the Finnish exhibition had not been previously announced.
“In that sense, this is exciting and wonderful,” the chief curator, Sarianne Soikkonen, said. She added that Houseago’s decision to include his friends in his exhibition was shaped by the pandemic and events in Houseago’s personal life.
Rich and famous actors such as Pierce Brosnan, Sylvester Stallone, and Jim Carrey have often sought creative outlets to supplement their day jobs. For instance, in 2021, Johnny Depp earned more than $3.6m within hours after the release of 780 prints through the Castle Fine Art gallery in London, which immediately sold out.
The Guardian critic Jonathan Jones nonetheless said Pitt turns out to be an “extremely impressive artist” who has sidestepped the embarrassment of celebrity art “to reveal what by any standard are powerful, worthwhile works."
The show also features Cave’s first exhibition of ceramics. The musician, who studied painting at the Caulfield Institute of Technology in Melbourne before pursuing music, created 17 handpainted ceramic figurines depicting “the life of the Devil in 17 stations," a nod to his interest in Victorian Staffordshire Flatback figurines, of which he is a collector.
Both Pitt and Cave created their works in dialogue with Houseago, a three-decade-long art veteran. For his exhibition debut in the Nordic countries, the artist is showing a number of paintings – although he’s better known as a sculptor – from his large-scale Visions series that was inspired partly by Edvard Munch.
Speaking of his decision to stage a collaborative show between himself, Cave, and Pitt, Houseago said in a statement, “I am not an I. I’m a WE!”