Houston Times Eight {HX8}

Robert Pruitt

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Robert Pruitt, left to right – “Blue-Black Afro Majestic”, 2012, “Black Shining Princess”, 2012, “Bombs Over Baghdad”, 2012, all conte, charcoal, hand dyed paper

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Houston artist Robert Pruitt explores African American identity through drawing, photography, and sculpture. Influenced by jazz composer Sun Ra, American science fiction writer Octavia Butler, and social realist artist Charles White, Pruitt brings his work to life through the integration of one identity. Through clothing, technology, and social media in his photography and drawings, Pruitt helps re-examine the historical events of the past, further defining the culture of Afrofuturism.

His obsession with time and space depicted in his drawings include scenes of African American history in the United States, socio-economic struggles, human relationships, and portraits of family, friends and people in his community. Popular culture in particular is reflected in his work through an array of subject matter such as hip hop, science fiction and comic books to name a few. Combining his aesthetic with such disparate imagery, he successfully creates a necessary dialog to achieve a unified consciousness.

Born in 1975, Robert Pruitt lives and works in Houston, TX. He received his MFA in 2003 from the University of Texas at Austin. Pruitt has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Studio Museum Harlem, the 2006 Whitney Biennial and various other museums and artists spaces. He is also a founding member of the Houston-based artist collective Otabenga Jones & Associates.

Robert Pruitt, “Conjur Woman”, (date unknown), digital reproduction

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Robert Pruitt, “Totem”, 2012, found materials