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Studio Tour: Rob Pruitt


After we spotted artist Rob Pruitt’s color gradients on Instagram, we were dying to collaborate with him. Lucky for us, he couldn’t have been cooler and generously let us feature his cheeky paintings on our new rash guard collection (sales benefit The Skin Cancer Foundation). Here, he shows us around his Brooklyn studio and talks about his love of flea markets and cats and what it’s like to see people wear his art.


“Seeing my art on a rash guard is like seeing my art on a human body as opposed to a canvas. I like how it changes from person to person.”
Jenna first had the idea to put Rob’s artwork on our rash guards after seeing an Instagram photo of this show at the Gavin Brown’s enterprise booth at Art Basel, Switzerland.. Rob Pruitt, Us, 2013. Acrylic, enamel and flocking on linen. 250 parts (125 parts: 32" x 26", 125 parts: 30" x 24"). Photograph courtesy of Rob Pruitt studio. 


“I try to treat the studio like any other person that goes to a nine-to-five job. I make an effort to put in a full day’s work, five days a week.” 

ON CREATING AMAZING COLOR COMBOS
“I tear pages out of magazines, take pictures of color combinations that I encounter in day-to-day life and take lots of screen grabs when I’m surfing the internet. When I revisit these things, the ones that rise to the top are the ones that usually creep into my art and paintings.”
ON HIS EARLIEST ARTWORK (AT AGE SIX)  
“I always wanted to be an artist. When I was pretty young, maybe six or seven, my Italian-speaking grandmother would buy me magic markers and have me duplicate stained-glass windows from a book. It made me so happy to copy these designs with my rainbow markers—especially because it made her so happy.”


ON THOSE CAT SCULPTURES
“I love cats. I’ve had them my entire life. Cats always seem capable of thinking deep thoughts and occupying themselves quite happily—and perhaps even having the power to know more than anyone may imagine.” 
ON HIS FAMOUS FLEA MARKETS  
“The first flea market I ever did came about from an invitation from Gavin Brown to curate a summer group show at his gallery. I didn’t have a concept, but I did have a long list of people in my mind that I wanted to include. It occurred to me that if I organized a flea market, it might be a very exciting, electric environment. More of a happening than an art show. It was so much fun for people that I’ve done them with regularity over the years.”



“I love shopping at flea markets because I love the haphazard, random juxtapositions of things. There’s a time-travel sensation that is really inspiring to me.” 


AND NOW, ROB ANSWERS THE J.CREW Q’S…

MOVIE CANDY OF CHOICE?

Smuggled-in trail mix, but on days that I’m not feeling that...definitely gummy bears. 

YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE COLOR IS…

Periwinkle.

IF YOU WEREN’T AN ARTIST, YOU’D BE…

A potter or an oceanographer.

VICE YOU’LL NEVER GIVE UP:

Reading celebrity news. It’s embarrassing but true.

YOUR FIRST JOB WAS…

Usher in a movie theater.

PEOPLE ALWAYS TELL YOU THAT YOU LOOK LIKE…

Stefon from SNL. 

BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Trade art with friends. 

YOUR SPIRIT EMOJI IS…




As part of our Garments for Good collection—which supports a wide range of nonprofits with original, exclusive-to-us designs—50 percent of the retail price of each limited-edition Rob Pruitt™ for J.Crew rash guard will be donated to The Skin Cancer Foundation. 


Photographs by Bryan Derballa.

Shop our entire Garments for Good collection here.
TAGS: garments for good, womens, art, swim, brooklyn, studio tour
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