Brad Pitt and Nick Cave make surprise art debut in Finland

Finnish media report both men are excited yet nervous about presenting their art in public for the first time

British artist Thomas Houseago, centre, poses with American actor Brad Pitt, right, and Australian musician Nick Cave at the Sara Hilden Art Museum in Tampere, Finland. AFP
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Hollywood’s Brad Pitt and Australian musician Nick Cave have made their art world debut at an exhibition in Finland.

The Sara Hilden Art Museum, located in the southern Finnish city of Tampere, was initially scheduled to exhibit solely the wide variety of works by British artist Thomas Houseago — known for his sculptures — but he reportedly persuaded the museum to include works by his friends Pitt and Cave.

“Cave and Pitt are already renowned in their respective fields of music and cinema, but this is the first time ever they have exhibited their artwork — pieces which were created during the course of an ongoing dialogue with Houseago,” the Finnish museum said.

Pitt and Cave travelled to Tampere, a university city known for its vibrant culture and music scene, for a pre-opening event on Saturday. Finnish media reported that both men acknowledged being excited and nervous about presenting their art in public for the first time.

Among the nine works on show by the 58-year-old Pitt is a house-shaped structure moulded in clear silicon and shot with bullets and a plaster panel depicting a shooting scene. Pitt reportedly began making ceramic art following his divorce from Angelina Jolie in 2017.

Pitt told the Finnish public broadcaster YLE that his work was about “self-reflection”.

“It’s about, you know, where have I got it wrong in my relationships? Where have I mis-stepped? Where I am complicit?” he said.

“It was born out of ownership of really what I call a radical inventory of self, getting really, brutally honest with me and … taking account of those I may have hurt and moments I’ve just got wrong.”

Cave, known for his dark baritone voice as the frontman for his band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, produced a series of ceramic figurines that depict the life of the devil. He designed, painted and glazed the 17 figures between 2020 and this year.

“I wanted to do a devil because it was red. And I like the colour of red glaze,” Cave told YLE. “Eventually I decided to make the life story of the devil itself.

“For me, personally, it speaks into something about the idea of forgiveness or the need to be forgiven. It’s a very personal work for me.”

The exhibition opened on Sunday and runs through January 15, 2023.

Updated: September 20, 2022, 6:39 PM