Brad Pitt has unveiled his sculptures in a lakeside art museum in Finland as part of the actor’s first-ever public art exhibition that came as an unexpected surprise to the Nordic country.
Located in Finland’s third-largest city of Tampere, this is the first time the “largely self-taught” US star presented his sculptures to the public, the Sara Hildén Art Museum said.
Pitt’s sculptures were revealed by the 58-year-old actor himself on Saturday as part of a larger exhibition by British artist Thomas Houseago, alongside a ceramic series by Australian musician Nick Cave.
“For Nick and I this is a new world and our first entry. It just feels right,” Pitt told Finnish broadcaster Yle at the opening ceremony.
Pitt’s nine works in the show include a molded plaster panel “depicting a gunfight” and a series of house-shaped silicone sculptures that each have been shot with a different gauge of ammunition.
“To me it’s about self-reflection. It’s about where I have gotten it wrong in my relationships, where I have misstepped, where am I complicit,” Pitt said at the opening. “For me, it was born out of ownership of what I call a radical inventory of self, getting really brutally honest with me and taking account of those I may have hurt, moments I have just gotten wrong.”
The actor reportedly began trying his hand at pottery after his divorce from Angelina Jolie, spending up to 15 hours a day in Houseago’s Los Angeles studio back in 2017. He told GQ in August that he regarded his pursuit of ceramics not as art, but as a “solo, very quiet, very tactile kind of sport”.
Pitt’s unexpected visit took the Nordic country by surprise, as his involvement in the exhibition was not previously announced.
“In that sense this is exciting and wonderful,” chief curator Sarianne Soikkonen told Agence France-Presse. She added that Houseago’s decision to include his friends in his exhibition was shaped by the pandemic and “events in Houseago’s personal life”.
As well as hosting Pitt’s sculptures for the first time, the art show is Houseago’s exhibition debut in the Nordic countries and Cave’s first exhibition of ceramics.
The musician, who studied painting at the Caulfield Institute of Technology in Melbourne before pursuing music, created 17 hand-painted ceramic figurines depicting “the life of the Devil in 17 stations”, which nod to his interest in Victorian Staffordshire Flatback figurines, of which he is a collector.