Rob Pruitt Responds to Our Wacky Word Prompts for His 50th Birthday

We said "Parody," he said "schmarody."

Rob Pruitt.
Rob Pruitt.

On Sunday, beloved Pop artist and provocateur Rob Pruitt celebrates his 50th birthday at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut. The party doubles as the opening of his retrospective exhibition, which features some of his most beloved and/or most recognizable work—including an iteration of Rob Pruitt’s Flea Market where the Brant family’s personal effects will be on offer in addition to Pruitt’s own.

Also in timely fashion, Pruitt’s show at MOCAD, “The Obama Painting and The Lincoln Monument,” will be unveiled May 15, featuring his massive Obama installation.

Rather than candles, on this special occasion, we gave Pruitt 50 prompts as a kind of word association game, and in response, he gave us 50 words that were gut reactions. Below, we’ve assembled these words with an eye towards creating a verbal mid-life retrospective of sorts (paralleling his upcoming real world shows). Each of the words was culled from the artist’s well-maintained Wikipedia page in the order of its appearance on the page, which begins as follows:

“Robert “Rob” Pruitt (born May 17, 1964) is an American post-pop artist who explores American youth and consumer culture. Working in painting, installation, and sculpture, he does not have a single style or medium.”

Here are Rob Pruitt’s responses (right) to our prompts (left):

1. American – young

2. Pop – culture

3. Youth – quake

4. Consumer – remorse

5. Culture – yogurt

6. Style – maven

7. Trash – and vaudeville

8. Minimalism – box

9. Aspen – Uggs

10. Maryland – crabs

11. Energy – chakra

12. Artist – con

13. Evian – water

14. Cocaine – glitter

15. Publicity – hound

16. Greed – trump

17. Glamour – glitter

18. Humor – Jewish

19. Genre – romance

20. Panda – bear

21. Trademark – Coke

22. Corporate – lobby

23. Perrier – fizzy

24. Kitsch – cheetah

25. Irony – comic

26. Virtue – compassion

27. Glitter – shine

28. Diamond – in ruff

29. Gala – dread

30. Sincerity – Jonathan

31. Parody – schmarody

32. Amish – cheese

33. Responsibility – duty

34. Society – sobriety

35. Monster – Henson

36. Cinnabon – love

37. Pattern – decoration

38. Design – Eames era

39. Emoji – queen

40. Personality – plus

41. Pure – gold

42. Perfect – simple

43. Television – reality

44. Andy – Warhol

45. iPhone – brain

46. Celebrity – Beyoncé

47. Weed – brownies

48. Million – dollars

49. Price – discount

50. Value – bargain

RP Untitled 2013

Rob Pruitt, Untitled (2013).
Photo: Courtesy of Gavin Brown’s enterprise.


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