Regardless of what you think of legendary Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone, everyone knows that the man is at the very least a highly expressive performer. We learnt last week that the actors’ creative talent extends beyond the art of film, as the former Academy Award winner unveiled a brand new project; an art exhibition.
The Sylvester Stallone: The Magic of Being exhibition debuted last Saturday at the Osthaus Museum Hagen in Germany and will run until February 20th next year. The exhibition features a diverse collection of paintings created by the Rocky, Rambo, and Expendables star, some dating back as far as the 1960’s, years before his big-screen breakthrough. While those closely following his career will know that this is not technically the first time Stallone has showed off his skills with brush and palette (he previously had work shown at St. Petersburg’s State Russian Museum in 2013 and in 2015 at Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain in Nice, France), this event will act as a truly comprehensive showcase of Stallone’s work, as over 50 individual pieces will be on display.
Stallone’s passion for the visual medium goes all the way back to his childhood and early adulthood, where he would attempt to sell his works for small sums to fund his bus fares. Most are probably unaware that one of Stallone’s most iconic and beloved creations, the 1976 Best Picture winner and franchise ignitor Rocky, was originally conceived as a painting titled Finding Rocky, which was painted a year prior the release of the iconic film.
While some might question whether the museum’s pulling a gimmick to generate attention, exhibit contributor Mathias Rastorfer professes that Stallone’s spotlight does not come purely on the back of his star-power and that the quality of his work merits the platform it has been given; “I remember people asking the same question when we first showed (fashion designer) Karl Lagerfeld’s art. Now every art museum in the world wants to show Largerfeld’s work. … It will be the same with Stallone.” Stallone himself expressed his immense gratitude for the opportunity to have his work highlighted so prominently, remarking that it was “an amazing honor to have my work hanging here, next to some of the greatest artists in the world.”
While in 30 years time I doubt ‘Sly’ will be best remembered for what he accomplished with the brush, one can’t help feel happy for the film legend being able to showcase another of his passions. That is of course, as long as its not getting in the way him making Rocky 7 (or 8? I’ve lost track at this point).