Robert Pruitt

Guest Minister 
September 2O2O

Guest Minister is a proposed multi-media sculptural work that presents as a living Super-Computer. 

Visually, it will resemble a large computer server with a faceted exterior composed of mostly wood with metal mesh screens, three small video monitors and a concealed interior that holds an array of audio and visual equipment.

It will house a set of animated videos and a repeating audio persona, giving it the impression of an artificial intelligence. It will act as a type of divine cleric, offering a rotating series of fractured sermons, quasi religious songs, and self reflective monologs that reveal alternating
moods of paranoia, ego, joy and other internal dialogs

The design and aesthetic of this work is informed by computer servers, 1980s era video arcade cabinets, Sci-Fi films, and Jamaican sound systems. All objects that fluctuate between Dystopic and Utopic notions of the future.

This work blurs the boundaries between virtual assistant and deity. It is a probing of the interiority of human consciousness and our evolving complex interfaces with machines.

Guest Minister sits at intersections of religion, mythology, Fantasy, Alieness and Posthuman activity.

This work is meant to compliment and act in concert with some of the recurring themes of my drawing work. I often use overlapping references to Science Fiction, Religion, Race, Class and Political histories as a way of Interrogating contemporary sentiments of power, loss, humanity and identity. Guest Minister will be a significant figure within that cosmos of characters of my drawing practice.

Geledé Garveyite 2019 -- conte' charcoal coffee on paper  50" x 38" Geledé Garveyite, 2019 -- conte' charcoal coffee on paper 50” x 38"

Robert Pruitt was born in 1975 in Houston Texas. He received his BFA from Texas Southern University (2000) and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin (2003). He is a founding member of the Houston artist collective Otabenga Jones & Associates. He has had solo exhibitions at The Pennsylvania College of Art & Design; The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX; McKinney Art Center, Dallas, TX; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA; University of Texas, Arlington, TX(2016); Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN(2016); The Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, KS(2017) & most recent at California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA(2018).

Pruitt was a participating artist in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and the 2010 SITE Santa Fe Biennial, which traveled to MoMA PS1 in New York. He is a recipient of the Artadia Artist Award, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award and Joan Mitchell Foundation award (2013). Pruitt recently was awarded residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art(2015) and The Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Louisiana(2016).

Pruitt’s work is in the collections of The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; The Studio Museum of Harlem; the Dallas Museum of Art; the University Museum of Texas Southern University in Houston; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; and most recently the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas (2016); The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Massachusetts (2016) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2016).