Rob Pruitt’s Panda Paintings Have a Starring Role in Kingsman: The Secret Service

by Corinna Kirsch on February 17, 2015 Newswire

Samuel L. Jackson and panda paintings

Samuel L. Jackson with panda paintings—because why not?

Did you see Rob Pruitt’s glitter-panda paintings this weekend? Pruitt’s the latest in a series of artists who’ve been getting screen time in TVs and movies. Kehinde Wiley paintings fill the background of Empire, Jon Rafman’s amorphic sculptures set the dystopian future tone in 2014’s RoboCop, and now Rob Pruitt’s glitter panda paintings grace the stages of the ultra-violent spy comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service, released over the Valentine’s Day weekend.

What the heck are these kitschy, glittery panels doing in a gory action movie? More specifically, what are they doing inside the home and secret “bad guy” cave of one of the more absurd villains in my recent memory, Richmond Valentine (played by Samuel L. Jackson)?

Inscrutable taste defines Valentine, a tech billionaire with a heavy lisp. He loves McDonald’s, dresses like an overage Justin Bieber, and has “no stomach for violence”—he projectile vomits at the sight of blood. He’s altruistic about investing in global warming, but with a less-than benevolent aim: eradicate humans in order to prevent climate change. Typical villainy, but an atypical villain.

real pruitt

Rob Pruitt, “Keeping Warm,” 2001. Image courtesy of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.

Valentine shares in dozens of interests that don’t really seem to add up with one another, which might be the only reason his interest in the panda paintings makes sense. Dozens of paintings line the corridors of his home, and two panda glitter paintings shine on the walls of his doomsday room (in spy movies, the room with the big button to end the world). What an absurd pairing. But you can’t really tell if Valentine’s paintings are there for set dressing, if the pandas relate to his interest in nature, or if he just really loves pandas and glitter.

Personally, I’m buying into the latter based on the Bieberness put forth by Samuel L. Jackson. Glitter and swag? Same thing.

Another panda painting in Kingsman: The Secret Service

Just another panda painting in Kingsman: The Secret Service

When I asked Rob Pruitt what he thought about the film over Instagram, he semi-sarcastically responded with his ambitions:

pruitt instagram

Get busy, Rob. You have an entire year to start charming the Oscar jurors.


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: