That Which Rob Pruitt Calls a Rose

BILL POWERS, The New York Times Style Magazine, October 10, 2012

While the art world is still waiting for its own Hollywood Boulevard-style Walk of Fame, Rob Pruitt - the American artist best known for his glitter paintings of pandas - is giving it an ample dose of celebrity. This October he mounts his personal autograph collection at Luxembourg & Dayan in London. The exhibition includes some 165 signatures (about half of Pruitt's collection), ranging from the 1980s icon Boy George to his most recent acquisitions: Ivana Trump and Jasper Johns. All signatures are secured by Pruitt himself who, in the role of consummate fan, always caries a Sharpie and blank unstretched canvas with him just in case. The odd mix of subjects here - from a before-she-was-famous Lena Dunham to artist friends like Piotr Uklanski, Darren Bader and Elizabeth Peyton - reminds the viewer that context can be content while echoing Peyton's painting practice of elevating her personal heroes to equal footing as the cultural centennials she deems worthy of our adoration. "My late friend Felix Gonzales Torres had a huge collection of Mickey Mouse memorabilia," said Pruitt of his somewhat obsessive undertaking. "I think all artists collect. It's part of the job description."

Rob Pruitt's Autograph Collection is on view at Luxembourg & Dayan, 2 Savile Row, London, from Oct. 11 to Dec. 15.