I Call My Brother Sun Because He Shines Like One is a multi-media installation which explores contemporary stereotypes of African-Americans, adornment, black aesthetics, and black visual traditions. Melding disparate elements of African and African American history with found objects, Pruitt creates an array of works including drawing, sculpture, and video.
Pruitt writes: I have been educated by the contemporary art system, but my neighborhood, and most of its residents, are unaware of this world, and that world is unaware of it. This is the dichotomy out of which I work. An inhabitant of two worlds, my work attempts to bridge the gap between African cultural traditions supposedly lost to African Americans, and contemporary art making tactics. I fuse Hip-hop sensibilities, rewritten histories, and penchant for the found, (or cheaply bought) object. I romanticize the revolutionary ideologies of the seventies, the dope fresh styles of the eighties, and the conceptual art making practices of the nineties. I collect objects, quotes, and events from my stereotypically disenfranchised neighborhood, bring them back to my studio, and mix them up to make art. My materials are artifacts stained with memory and meaning. I use these artifacts to make objects and images that expound on the black condition in America, and I use a chitlin circuit style of humor to sneak it into the subconscious of my audience."
Robert A. Pruitt lives and works in Houston, Texas. His work is currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston. Past exhibitions include the 2006 Whitney Biennial and Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
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