A brush with... Pablo Bronstein

An in-depth interview on the artist's influences and cultural experiences, from the architectural drawings of Piranesi to the novels of Émile Zola

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Pablo Bronstein. Photo: David Clack

Pablo Bronstein. Photo: David Clack

In this episode of A brush with..., the Argentinian artist Pablo Bronstein talks to Ben Luke about the art, literature, music, film and much more that have influenced him and inspire him today, and the cultural experiences that have shaped his life and work.

Pablo Bronstein's Patisseries and Confections (2020-21). © Pablo Bronstein

Bronstein was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1977, but came to the UK as a child and grew up in suburban London. He makes beautifully executed drawings, performances and video works. They reflect on the architecture, design and cultural traditions of mostly pre-20th-century eras and what they tell us about the role of aesthetic taste both when they were made and as we see them today.

Pablo’s work is often funny, though with a sardonic edge, but its impact is heightened by the fact that it is also deeply learned—his knowledge of the intricacies, pretensions, quirks and excesses of art, design and architectural history are crucial to the effectiveness and precision of his work.

Pablo Bronstein's Erecting of the Paternoster Square Column (2008)
© Pablo Bronstein

He discusses his early fascination with drawing buildings, his love of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, his admiration of Mark Leckey, the power of Émile Zola’s The Beast in Man and JG Ballard’s Crash and much more. He answers our usual questions about his working life in the studio and has perhaps the most unexpected response to our final question—What is art for?—to date.

A brush with… series 7 runs from 17 November-15 December 2021, with episodes released on Wednesdays. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here. This episode is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.

Pablo Bronstein: Hell in its Heyday, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, until 2 January 2022