Last July, actor Brad Pitt confessed that he could be reaching the twilight of his film career. “I consider myself on my last leg, this last semester or trimester. What is this section gonna be? And how do I wanna design that?” he told writer Ottessa Moshfegh, known for her 2018 novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation, in the July issue of GQ.
In the interview, he said that beyond acting, he was also passionate about production (his production company Plan B Entertainment, which is focused on adapting novels, is behind the movie Blonde and the TV show The Underground Railroad), music (Pitt started playing the guitar during the Covid-10 lockdown) and, above all, sculpture.
Just two months after that interview, Pitt has made his debut as a sculptor at the Sara Hildén Art Museum, in the Finnish city of Tampere. Pitt’s works are part of a larger exhibition by British figurative sculpture artist Thomas Houseago, which also includes a series of ceramics by Australian singer Nick Cave. On Monday, September 19, all three appeared at the Finnish gallery to the surprise of the media.
Pitt has nine pieces in the exhibition. “Among the nine works by Pitt on show are a house-shaped structure molded in clear silicon and shot with bullets, and his first ever sculpture, House A Go Go (2017): a 46cm-tall miniature house made out of tree bark, crudely held together with tape,” reported The Art Newspaper. “The largest pieces include a coffin-sized bronze box depicting hands, feet and faces attempting to break through the structure at various angles, and the plaster wall-hanging sculpture Aiming At You I Saw Me But It Was Too Late This Time (2020), which depicts a gun fight between eight figures.”
“To me it’s about self-reflection. It’s about where I have gotten it wrong in my relationships, where have I 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.”
His surprise debut as a sculptor was kept a secret until the exhibition opening. “In that sense, this is exciting and wonderful,” chief curator Sarianne Soikkonen told Agence France-Presse.
Pitt began working on his sculptures following his divorce from fellow actress and director Angelina Jolie, with whom he has six children. Since 2016, the couple have been fighting for custody of the children. That same year, Pitt stopped drinking and started going to Alcoholics Anonymous. Since then, as he acknowledged in the GQ interview, he has become more reflective and introspective.