Hollywood’s Brad Pitt and Australian musician Nick Cave have debuted as artists in an exhibition in Finland that displays sculptures and ceramics created by the movie star and the singer-songwriter.
The Sara Hilden Art Museum, located in the southern Finnish city of Tampere, was initially scheduled to exhibit solely the wide variety of works by British artist Thomas Houseago — known for his sculptures — but he reportedly persuaded the museum include works by his friends Pitt and Cave.
“Cave and Pitt are already renowned in their respective fields of music and cinema, but this is the first time ever they have exhibited their artwork — pieces which were created during the course of an ongoing dialogue with Houseago,” the Finnish museum said.
Pitt and Cave traveled to Tampere, a university city known for its vibrant culture and music scene, for a pre-opening event on Saturday. Finnish media reported that both men acknowledged being excited and nervous about presenting their art in public for the first time.
Among the nine works on show by the 58 -year-old Pitt is a house-shaped structure molded in clear silicon and shot with bullets and a plaster panel depicting a shooting scene. Pitt reportedly began making ceramic art following his divorce from Angelina Jolie in 2017.
Pitt told the Finnish public broadcaster YLE that his work was about “self-reflection.”
“It’s about, you know, where have I gotten it wrong in my relationships? Where have I misstepped? Where I am complicit?” he said.
“It was borne out of ownership of really what I call a radical inventory of self, getting really, brutally honest with me and … taking account of those I may have hurt and moments I’ve just gotten wrong,” the American Oscar-winning actor and film producer told YLE.
Cave, known for his dark baritone voice as the front man for his band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, produced a series of ceramic figurines that depict the life of the devil. He designed, painted and glazed the 17 figures between 2020 and this year.
“I wanted to do a devil because it was red. And I like the color of red glaze,” Cave told YLE. “Eventually I decided to make the life story of the devil itself.”
“For me, personally, it speaks into something about the idea of forgiveness or the need to be forgiven. It’s a very personal work for me.”
About the Artists
Thomas Houseago (b. 1972 Leeds, UK) brings a vanguard approach to sculpture’s original subject, the human body, utilizing mediums associated with classical and modernist sculpture—such as carved wood, clay, plaster, and bronze—as well as less traditional materials like rebar and hemp. He studied at Jacob Kramer College, Leeds, England from 1990 to 1991, received a BA in 1994 from Saint Martin’s School of Art, London, and studied at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, from 1994 to 1996.
Nick Cave (b. 1957 Victoria, Australia) is an artist and singer-songwriter. Born in Warracknabeal in rural Victoria, Cave was drawn to the visual arts from an early age. He studied painting at the Caulfield Institute of Technology (Monash University, Melbourne) in 1976 before abandoning his studies to pursue music, relocating to Berlin and London in the 1980s. A recent interest in ceramics has resulted in Cave’s first major body of visual work, which is displayed at Sara Hildén Art Museum.
Brad Pitt (b. 1963 Oklahoma, USA) is one of today’s strongest and most versatile film actors of our generation. He is largely self-taught and this exhibition at Sara Hildén Art Museum is the first public exhibition of his work.
Särkänniemi, Tampere, Finland
18 Sept 2022 – 15 Jan 2023