Sylvester Stallone was an artist before he found his place on the silver screen, and recognition of his talent is evident in a showing of more than 30 of his paintings at The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
The paintings chronicle Stallone’s lifetime, from renditions of a bleeding boxer standing in the corner of a ring to stark black, white, and red abstract art.
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“The images and characters found in Stallone’s paintings,
in a way, replicate events in his creative and personal biography,” says the Russian Museum’s website. “But they are not portraits in the traditional understanding of the word. Stallone’s paintings can seem beautiful or savage, skillfully done or not, but they do not leave viewers indifferent, as within them lives the mystery of experience.”
At the show’s opening, Stallone told the BBC, “I think I’m a much better painter than an actor.
It’s much more personal and I'm allowed to just do what I want to do. Quite often in acting you have to play a certain part, you cannot speak as much as you want to speak. I suppose the heroes don't talk much, you have to be very stoic.”
Museum director Vladimir Gusev told the BBC that Stallone’s painting show “the character of a passionate man.
“This is a real artist,” he said. “The Russian Museum does not show weak artists.”
The museum, however, has been criticized for showing Stallone’s work, and curators argued that the actor’s works were only on display at a branch museum rather than the main facility.
Stallone has also had shows in Switzerland and Florida, the BBC said.
The fact that Stallone, who will never live down his tough-guy persona from films, paints caused a stir online, as people took the opportunity to critique his work.
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