“There is nothing as gratifying as being one on one with a concept, with your thought and vision. Movies are the work of a collective conscious. It takes 500-800 people on a movie to complete a vision. Painting is as close as a person can get to actually capturing the heat of the moment,” the actor recently told Speakeasy.
For the first time, Stallone’s paintings are being exhibited in Russia in a kind of retrospective exhibition that spans 38 years.
He calls Mark Rothko and Jean-Michel Basquiat influences, and has shifted in style from his early works, mostly created with a large palette knife and a spectrum of color, to his more recent canvases, which use more red, white and black, and are decidedly more abstract.
Stallone spoke to Speakeasy about shifting from painting to sculpture, and how his early film roles influenced his paintings.
“Characters I’ve played, they used to impact my paintings, like 80 percent of the time, and especially when I was doing an action film. At first I tried to paint the emotionality of characters,” he said.
“I tended to rely on colors and figures etched into the canvas with a pallet knife. My earlier subject matter is always about isolation going down long roads, transitioning into different spheres,” Stallone added.
“It’s always about transition. In the 80s and 90s they took on a movie quality, it was almost an action painting, which is kind of a school of painting itself. Postmodern action paintings always looked for that explosive nature,” he said.
Stallone went on to say that one day he started to paint more and more simplistic.
“I asked my wife if it was any good, a painting I did, and she said it was “one of your better paintings, simpler in its subject matter but ten times more sophisticated.” It allows the viewer to interpret, to leave a lot to the imagination,” he said.
Speaking about sculpturing, Stallone said it’s “somewhat experimental.
“I’m re-interpreting certain industry icons – like machinery and tools and actual gears,” he said.
“Things we take for credit that without them we are in the dark ages. Like if you remove the ball bearing from your life nothing moves. You glorify these objects and I’m taking them and magnifying them, it’s incredibly powerful. When elevated to a monumental status, they don’t look like common little objects to take for granted. They become epic signatures,” he explained.
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