‘The Word ‘Collection’ Kind of Bothers Me’: Brad Pitt Dishes on Buying and Making Art With Leonardo DiCaprio and Marc Maron

The actors recently appeared on Maron’s podcast.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio attend the premiere of Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood at CineStar on August 01, 2019 in Berlin. Photo: Brian Dowling/Getty Images for Sony Pictures.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, stars of the screen and ceramics studio, made a joint appearance on comedian Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast this week to talk about Pitt’s sculpture practice and their respective art collections, among other things.

The conversation, recorded in Los Angeles just prior to the Golden Globes—where both actors were nominated for their roles in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood—opened with Maron recalling the last time he saw Pitt, at Frieze LA, which Maron referred to as that “Art basil thing.” (In fact, a lot of people saw Pitt at Frieze.) Maron was there supporting his then girlfriend, painter Sarah Cain, who had mounted an installation in a fake brownstone on the Paramount Pictures Studios lot. 

“You were outside barking for her, bringing people in to see her art. I thought it was very sweet,” recalls Pitt before asking Maron what he really thought of Cain’s work.

“I liked it a lot,” replied the comedian. “There’s something about abstraction where either it’s going to work or not.” 

Maron first met Pitt alongside Thomas Houseago, the British-born, LA-based sculptor whose studio served as a kind of home away from-home for Pitt while he was going through his high-profile divorce with actress Angelina Jolie. 

Marc Maron with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, from WTF with Marc Maron on Twitter.

Marc Maron with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, from WTF with Marc Maron on Twitter.

The three also discussed their art collecting habits. DiCaprio grew up traveling around LA to comic book stores and head shops with his dad, a rare comic book collector who would sell works by cartoonists like Robert Williams and R. Crumb to local vendors. (Apparently DiCaprio’s father is still close with Williams and he, along with Leo, also co-produced a Netflix documentary about the Polish painter and sculptor Stanislav Szukalski.) Today, DiCaprio is a prominent art collector who has amassed a trove of works by artists including Frank Stella, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Ed Ruscha.  

“The word ‘collection’ kind of bothers me,” says Pitt, implying that it sounds too formal. Nonetheless, the actor has amassed an impressive trove of works by artists such as Richard Serra, Marcel Dzama, and Bansky. And his friendship with Houseago has also turned him into something of sculptor himself. He recently built a studio in his LA home, and has even hosted Leo a couple of times for some brotherly ceramics sessions. 

“What we do [in acting] is such a collaborative sport,” says Pitt, “[that] to do something that’s just you, on your own, very solitary, I find very meditative.” 

Listen to the full episode of the podcast here.

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