Just for fun, I went looking through my collection of old art articles from the 1980s and 1990s, and came across a piece on celebrities who dabbled in making art, from a magazine called “The Face,” issue #31, from April 1991. The title of the article was “A Load of Pollocks?” and featured Sylvester Stallone, below left, with one of his paintings, below right.
The tone of the article was a bit harsh, with this question: “How gifted are these personalities and to what extent do they take advantage of the fame they already have?” This question was directed at Stallone, as well as writer William Burroughs, singer David Bowie, director David Lynch, and even Prince Charles!
It may be a little hard to see from this reproduction, but Stallone’s painting above right has the words “Tell the story of man vs. myth” along the top side of an abstract clock, with the words “Power” and “Sacred Place” along the bottom side. British art critic Sarah Kent was asked to assess this art work, and said: “This is one of the crassest images I have ever seen. It’s so silly and full of pretension.” Art publisher Mike Von Joel said, “It’s the sort of painting produced by somebody who’s incredibly and sincerely interested in art, but who falls foul of the concept that anyone can do it.”
Pow! Take that, Rocky! But this harsh criticism in 1991 certainly didn’t stop Stallone from continuing to pursue an art career, with an art museum show in Nice, France, as recently as 2015. The show was a retrospective of the actor’s works painted between 1975 and 2015.