Whether it’s oil on canvas, lead on paper, or photography on film – if you need to relieve some creative constipation, art is a great way to relax. When it comes to all things arsty farty, the world is generally divided into two groups of people – those that consider themselves creative, and those that assertively don’t. For those that do and are at the top of their game however, such as celebrities (or at least the talented ones), it’ll be of no surprise that many of them like to indulge their creative sensibilities more than one way. In recent years a growing number of stars have become celebrated in the art world, with their works selling for considerable amounts. And we’re not talking about the soulless Paris Hilton types who would probably buy a few photography textbooks, take instagram pictures and then hold a ‘Look at me!’ exhibition. No, we’re talking about a group of celebrities that are actually pretty damn talented beyond what we know them for. Here are a handful of famous creative types that might just surprise you.
Shock rocker Manson has been painting for years, and like the man himself it’ll be of no surprise that his absinthe induced watercolours also take on a darker aesthetic. With paintings depicting ‘The Black Dahlia’ (aka Elizabeth Short, a victim of a gruesome Hollywood murder in 1947), a three-headed Jesus (painted on an antique embalming table), and numerous unflattering self portraits – his distinctive style has earned his work a following that consists of more than just his fans.
(Click here to view Manson’s work).
Best known for playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen has been indulging his creative side for many years and his work has been featured in galleries worldwide. A keen photographer and painter, his work is particularly abstract and often contain elements of his poetry. In the film ‘A Perfect Murder’ in which Viggo played an artist, all the paintings featured in the film were his own.
(Click here to view Viggo’s work).
Having had his work featured in numerous galleries over the years, Ronnie Wood is an exceptional talent in the art world. Starting young, Ronnie had his work featured on children’s TV show ‘Sketch Club’ before attending art college. His distinctive paintings, drawings and prints primarily feature icons from popular culture, as well images of his band. Even hardened art critic Brian Sewell called Ronnie “an accomplished and respectable artist”.
(Click here to view Ronnie’s work).
Having exhibited her work for years under the pseudonym ‘Yu Ling’, Charlie’s Angel Lucy Liu was adamant that she wanted her work to be appreciated on its own merit, and not because of her name. It was only until fairly recently that she unveiled this side of her creative self for all to see. Since then she’s released a book of her artwork, and held an exhibition in London. Her abstract pieces are striking and beautiful, rather like the lady herself!
Most famous for playing Dr. Hannibal Lecter, when Sir Anthony Hopkins isn’t busy with his thespian pursuits, he likes to paint and draw. Having had his work featured in numerous galleries around the world, he’s certainly earned his reputation as a celebrity artist. Although his style is particularly distinct, his subjects are varied – ranging from gentle scenes to startling portraits. Working with acrylics, his paintings are often vivid in colour, somewhat abstract, and sell for a fortune.
(Click here to view Anthony’s work).
Famous action man, best known for playing Rocky Balboa in the Rocky films, and John Rambo in Rambo, Sylvester Stallone has been painting in his spare time for over three decades – and he’s gotten pretty good. Much like his films, his paintings are full of energy. Unlike his films, they’re often abstract, colorful and expressionistic. Sylvester, who paints in his garage at home in California explains ‘I’m not just painting for painting’s sake. I want to be truthful.’ The work he doesn’t give away to friends or family often sell for tens of thousands – not that he needs the cash!
(Click here to view Sylvester’s work).
Written by: Jennifer Yeoman