ICYMI, Brad Pitt Is Boys With Sculptor Thomas Houseago

They even attended the Venice Biennale together.

by Emma Specter
May 29 2019, 3:45pm

There's a long history of celebrities cultivating friendships with artists, from Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol to Billie Eilish and Takashi Murakami. One such friendship that's flown slightly under the radar is Brad Pitt's longtime bro status with British artist Thomas Houseago, who deals primarily in figurative sculpture.

Pitt's got plenty of famous friends, but the actor reportedly "turned to Houseago after Angelina Jolie split" (never change, Daily Mail). That's the kind of bond that can never be broken, especially once a shared passion has entered the picture. Pitt told GQ Style in 2017 that in order to escape the silence of his post-split house, he was spending a lot of time sculpting over at Houseago's: "My friend [Thomas Houseago] is a serious sculptor. They've been kind. I've literally been squatting in there for a month now. I'm taking a shit on their sanctity."

"I'm making everything," Pitt said. "I'm working with clay, plaster, rebar, wood. Just trying to learn the materials. ...But it's a very, very lonely occupation. There's a lot of manual labor, which is good for me right now. A lot of lugging clay around, chopping and moving and cleaning up after yourself." We stan an extremely cinematic post-divorce hobby!

More recently, Pitt and Houseago were seen in the company of an unidentified female friend (not Taffy Brodesser-Akner this time, I checked) at the Venice Biennale. But what did they see?

Personally, my money is on Austrian artist Renate Bertlmann, who got censored by the Centre Pompidou in 1979 for dressing up as a pregnant bride and asking onlookers to donate to the upkeep of a sculpted dildo. Not only is the sculptural aspect of that work a natural fit for Houseago, but come on! Pregnant bride? Kill Bill? Brad Pitt's longtime relationship with Quentin Tarantino, whose new Manson movie he's starring in? The clues are all there.

English artist Cathy Wilkes or Irish minimalist Eva Rothschild could also be hits for Pitt and Houseago, seeing as they both work in sculpture; on a less literal note, it's easy to imagine the boys getting off on the work of controversial New Zealand artist Dane Mitchell, who won a $15,000 award in 2009 for a work comprised entirely of recycled trash. Now that's post-structuralism, baby!

Brad Pitt
Venice Biennale
thomas houseago