Pruitt Early

Rob Pruitt and Jack Early formed an artistic collective that was active from the 1980s to the early 1990s. Prior to this collaboration, both worked in the New York art world: Early at the Leo Castelli gallery and Pruitt at Sonnabend. Their work is distinguished by an interest in themes of gender, sexuality and race in the American world. Their points of departure included popular culture, objects that symbolise the contemporary world and the imagination of young Americans. Their portrait of the average American adolescent is a compendium of the desires and obsessions of an entire generation: flaming Harley Davidsons appear alongside Budweiser cans personalised with stickers. They present an universe of undeniable fetishes: from heavy metal to Playboy, and from marijuana to Gothic. Their 1992 exhibition ‘Red, Black, Green, Red, White and Blue’, held at the Leo Castelli gallery, which included posters of famous Afro-American figures with rap music in the background, was labelled racist (a reflection of the false moralism in America). The exhibition marked the end of the collaboration between the two artists.