featured project

Rob Pruitt, Hoarfrost Pandas (A-H)

Project Team Members (Powerhouse Arts Staff): Dennis Hrehowsik, Luther Davis, Zaire Anderson, Dana Zinsser, Nellie Davis

Commissioner/Funder/Presenter(s): Phillips

project overview

Rob Pruitt enlisted the expertise of Powerhouse Arts in 2024 to create a series of Digital UV and Hand-pulled Enamel Silkscreen screenprints titled Hoarfrost Pandas (A-H). Each of the eight images is an edition of 30 and is 19 x 15 printed on 27 3/4 x 20 1/4 on Silver Washi paper. In order to retain rich pigment of the colors on the Silver Washi Paper, the prints were first primed with a white base layer using our Digital UV printer. The second color Digital UV layer was then printed on top in different rainbow tones. In order to create a seamless effect of the rainbow color transitions, the Powerhouse Arts print team used both the digital UV printer and hand pulled the final rainbow layer to include a horizontal and vertical rainbow. The final layer was hand pulled in the printshop, consisting of a silkscreen enamel blend on top. The result is a crystalline highlighting of nature, rendering the panda and its environment ethereal. Each print captures the pandas in different states of existence in their habitat. The inspiration for the Hoarfrost Pandas comes from the phenomenon of hoarfrost, when moisture on a clear night becomes frozen and creates a feathery, fluffier frost, and features Pruitt’s iconic panda immersed in the cool, glistening environment.

artist biography

Rob Pruitt was born in Washington D.C. in 1964 and studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C. and Parsons School of Design in New York. He lives and works in New York.Since the early 1990s, Rob Pruitt’s risk-taking investigations into American popular culture have taken many forms. From his notorious Cocaine Buffet (1998) and glitter portraits of Pandas or the significant Suicide Paintings series, Pruitt’s works are a surreal and extravagant interpretation of the pop world, a kaleidoscopic look towards mass culture by exploring the multiples aspects and the paradoxes of our present time. Throughout his career, Rob Pruitt has fine-tuned his ability to express nuanced ideas about culture and society through the re-interpretation of common objects and materials, all filtered through a sense of humour and irony. With his Mask series, the artist continues his pursuit of depicting the complexities of personality and emotions. The facial gestures indeed are cut into the canvas with a razor – destructive and creative at the same time, these gestures are married to an accumulation of gradients, patterns, and prints to create a character.