Rob Pruitt — the man who customized our Nicki Minaj cover with a panda drawing, while wearing only a panda stuffed animal — accessorized with a gas mask last night at Barneys New York. The artist was on hand to spray-paint J Brand jeans in dégradé patterns as part of a special event at the store. Last week, he did the same thing at the retailer’s L.A. location, though he explained that he designed different color schemes for the two cities. “L.A. was less muted, more citrus-y colors, and these are smoggy sunsets,” he said during a brief moment spent outside his spray-painting isolation booth.
During our conversation, a couple broke in to ask if Pruitt could re-create their favorite painting on a pair of jeans, and later, he sprayed directly onto a denim-clad Cecilia Dean. Was it exciting to get so much direct interaction with his audience? “Yes,” said the artist, adding, “I almost never do. It was really fun, like when I go to the barbershop and I feel like I’m working with the hairstylist to get something that I want. It has a kind of casual-sex feeling, just needing someone and getting it on.”