Robert Pruitt American, b. 1975

Robert A. Pruitt is an American artist, born in 1975. Pruitt, who lives and works in Houston, Texas, uses Conté crayons as his medium of choice, a drawing material composed of charcoal and clay. His women, based on his friends and community members, enter a fantasy world somewhere between a music video, steampunk tutorial and colonial African exploration.

Drawing imagery from science fiction, comic books, hip hop culture, and images taken from the history of political and social struggle in the United States, Robert Pruitt creates drawings, paintings, and sculptures that explore the complexities at the center of contemporary black identity. In his sculpture he works in a more conceptual mode, using found objects such as syrup bottles, shoe laces, and bubble gum. He often paints portraits of his friends and family dressed in period costume and with props, creating amalgams of different black historical figures, romantic visions of precolonial Africa, and fantasy. Humorous and incisive, Pruitt’s contemporary myth-making allows him to place the everyday within a broader narrative of black cultural self-realization.