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21 Sep 2022

Brad Pitt makes debut as sculptor at Finnish art museum
BY Tom Walker

Nick Cave (left), Thomas Houseago (middle) and Brad Pitt at the opening of the exhibition

Nick Cave (left), Thomas Houseago (middle) and Brad Pitt at the opening of the exhibition
photo: Jussi Koivunen/Sara Hildénin Taidemuseo

Hollywood superstar, Brad Pitt, has made his debut as a sculptor as part of British artist Thomas Houseago’s first ever exhibition in the Nordic countries.

The actor visited The Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere, Finland, to open the exhibition personally.

Pitt launched the display alongside Houseago and Australian musician, Nick Cave.

The three are long-time friends and the exhibition also acts as Cave's sculpting debut.

According to media reports, Pitt got interested in sculpting after his divorce from fellow Hollywood star, Angelina Jolie, in 2017 and spent long periods of time at Houseago’s Los Angeles studio.

Pitt's work at the exhibition includes a moulded plaster panel depicting a gunfight narrative scene, cast using multiple impressions of the human body.

There is also a series of plinth-mounted, house-shaped sculptures moulded in clear silicone that each has been shot with a different gauge of ammunition, revealing its trajectory and freeze-framing the destructive motion.

Another house structure – Pitt’s first-ever sculpture, entitled House A Go Go – is a 46 cm tall composite of timber off-cuts.

According to the art museum's chief curator, Sarianne Soikkonen, Houseago’s decision to include his friends in his exhibition – called WE – was shaped by the pandemic and events in Houseago’s personal life.

In 2021, Cave revealed how he had helped Houseago "deal with personal issues" during the pandemic.

"The sculptural processes that led to the work of each artist here, in different ways represent stages of becoming, transformation and transfiguration over time," Soikkonen said.

"Although each body of work remains individually authored, their presentation under the collective title reflects the connected nature of the works and their makers.

"WE is an open-ended concept that encourages new ways to think about art-making and the role of the solitary artist, which are less about ideas born exclusively to a single author.

"Houseago sees WE as incorporating all art forms and anyone he might connect with creatively.

"With the ultimate aim to spread hope and inclusiveness, the parameters and participants of WE may expand, yet with its beginning here with three figures each widely recognized for their individual talent, by challenging the need for such distinctions the message of WE is emphatically underscored."



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