Through his use of acrylic, enamel and glitter, Pruitt creates a limitless realm of sumptuous color that envelops the viewer, bringing life to the panda perched in a tree. Texture, color and structure are deployed with spectacular sensitivity to engender a seductive painterly synthesis visually aligned to an exquisite and strikingly atmospheric evocation. It is as if we are being given the opportunity to bask in a moment, just before darkness, that we all wish could last forever. The inclusion of an endangered species only accentuates the ephemerality of our everyday being, that we should give pause, even if such extraordinary moments are a daily occurrence.
For Pruitt pandas have played a wide range of roles and taken on different personalities, from playful cartoonish depictions to more abstracted forms like in the present work. While the overtly serene connotations of this tranquil palette immediately imbue a calm and even peaceful response, there is no single aspect to this work’s character and the viewer may concurrently sense a deeper more portentous tone, the duality of which invests this painting with a supreme sophistication not always associated with Pruitt’s work, but is ever present.
“As a child, you don’t intellectualize your passions — they wash over you. Fast-forward to being an adult and an artist: I found that the panda was a symbol that not only had deep personal relevance but also addressed larger issues. It’s a symbol that teaches us to revere nature, to tread lightly and compassionately.” Rob Pruitt
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