• Golden Globe Awards

Hollywood’s Passion for Art, or The Art by Thespians

Since our last story about Hollywood’s passion for art, there have been a lot of relevant updates. For instance, Sharon Stone recently had her very first solo gallery exhibition in Culver City, Los Angeles. The show at Allouche Gallery was called “Shedding” and featuring vibrant landscapes and vulnerable abstractions by Golden Globe winning actress who used her practice to process difficult periods in her personal life and acting career.
Art has been a part of her life since she was a little girl when she received painting lessons from her aunt. Later, Stone studied painting and literature at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, her home state. When the pandemic hit, Stone found herself stuck at home life the entire world, so when she mentioned that she’d be happy to paint again, her friend sent her an adult paint-by-number kit.
As Stone said to The Art Newspaper “I painted and painted and painted, and I refound myself. I refound my heart. I refound my center.”

Golden Globe winner Johnny Depp can add “multi-million dollar-selling artist” to his bio. He recently had his debut exhibition at Castle Fine Gallery in London releasing 780 prints which sold out almost immediately.
Depp’s debut collection of limited-edition artworks was focused on ‘Friends and Heroes,’ people he has known well, and who have inspired him as a person. It included four portraits of Bob Dylan, Elizabeth Taylor, Al Pacino, and Keith Richards.
According to the gallery, Depp works from photographic references, when each image stripped back to a simpler and iconic portrayal of the subject, developed with actor’s characteristic freehand flourishes. Recognizable images of people in popular culture are recast in vibrant colors and overlayed with the energy and wit of street art.
Recently it was announced that Depp had released ‘Friends & Heroes II’ collection capturing popular icons Bob Marley, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, and Hunter S. Thompson.
The actor who just celebrated his 60th birthday says: “I’ve always used art to express my feelings and to reflect on those who matters most to me, like my family, friends, and people I admire. My paintings surround my life, but I kept them to myself and limited myself. No one should ever limit themselves.”

Serpentine, another London gallery just wrapped up the exhibition of Grenfell by Golden Globe nominee Steve McQueen. In December 2017, the artist and filmmaker made an artwork in response to the fire that happened earlier that year at Grenfell Tower in West London, where 72 people died. Filming the tower before it was covered with hoarding, McQueen sought to create a record – a 24-minute film, almost silent, examining textures and details.
McQueen who directed Golden Globe winning movie 12 Years a Slave and Golden Globe nominated TV series Small Axe, was born in West London. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College where he first became interested in film. Over the last 30 years, McQueen has been influential in expanding the way in which artists work with film. As an artist he won the Turner Prize in 1999 and represented UK at the Venice Biennale in 2009. His work is held and exhibited in public museums around the world and his lates work Grenfell is placed in the care of Tate.

London seems to be the place where artwork created by filmmakers is publicly displayed. Next month star’s paintings will be in a show called ‘Many Actors Make Art (MaMa)’ with proceedings going to struggling actors. The exhibition will run from July 11 at The Department Store gallery in Brixton. Among others, included in the exhibition is the Golden Globe winner John Lithgow who will be showing three portraits including one of Winston Churchill whom he played in The Crown.

Interestingly, Lithgow entered Harvard in 1963 with the intention to become a painter. He almost immediately joined the theater program and after successful performances of his first show, he decided to become a professional actor. As he admits: “The dreams of an artist die hard,” so he continues to paint and draw, and one of his canvases even made a brief appearance in 2014 film Love is Strange by Ira Sachs.
It’s noteworthy that the proceeds from MaMa show will go to the Theatre Artists Fund set up in 2020 by Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes, initially to help actors during Covid-19, but now aiding those struggling or out of work.