Famous Actors Who Are Also Talented Artists
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In the entertainment world, a triple threat is someone who can act, sing and dance. But expertly wield a paintbrush? Who knew?
We’ve unearthed a bevy of celebrities with hidden (or in some cases not-so-hidden) artistic talents. Not only can they act, sing, and jump out of burning buildings Bond-style, but many can paint, compose compelling photos, and create stimulating performance art. These multi-threats prove that some people just ooze talent!
Read on to learn who these famous artistic gems are.
Written by Elizabeth Marxen for Livingly.
Before he turned his sights to acting, Brosnan studied commercial illustration at St. Martin’s School of Art in London. And though he went on to become an accomplished movie star, the “Mama Mia” actor still uses downtime on set to revisit his first passion, and even occasionally sells his work. At a recent charity auction, a painting of Bob Dylan fetched a cool $1.4 million.
Before fighting bad guys as one of Charlie’s Angels, Lucy Liu was an art student at Beijing Normal University. Today Liu’s mixed-media works are exhibited in galleries around the world. The actress, who credits her high school art classes for inspiring her passion, has partnered with LIFEWTR on its campaign to promote art programs in public schools.
No stranger in front of the camera, supermodel Helena Christensen is equally prolific behind the lens. Her moody photographs of celebs such as Bono, Liv Tyler, and The Weeknd have sold at auction and appeared in publications like Vogue.
Academy-Award nominated actor Viggo Mortensen is a true Renaissance Man. A photographer since his teens, the “Lord of the Rings” star is also a poet, musician, painter and founder of Perceval Press, an independent publishing house. His abstract paintings, which often contain fragments of his poetry, have been shown in galleries around the world and are featured in the film “A Perfect Murder” (in which he co-starred).
This page from his book “Horse Is Good,” showcases some of his work. You can buy this and other books of his work on the Perceval website (“Horse Is Good retails for $20, which is quite a reasonable rate for an art book!).
Joni Mitchell once said that she was a painter “derailed by circumstance.” The singer-songwriter’s artistic endeavors began as early as the age of 3 with a well-defined sketch of a duck (her website includes a curated timeline of her work). She went on to paint portraits of her famous friends and love-interests, including Graham Nash, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan.
Funnyman Jim Carrey began drawing as a child, but his public art world debut was a 2011 show, “Jim Carrey: Nothing to See Here.” A short film and “Jim Carrey: I Needed Color” further established his credibility as an artist. As of late, the actor debuts a steady stream of his politically-charged art on his Twitter feed.
Don't worry. What we are is bigger than our differences, bigger than our president, bigger than our red, white and blues. ;^) pic.twitter.com/UR9jgPcdWl
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) November 15, 2016
Rhode Island School of Design-alum Jemima Kirke’s recent solo art show featured a series of somber brides, including a portrait of her “Girl’s” co-star Allison Williams. The actress is so devoted to her art that she’s expressed fears that acting full-time will interfere with her studio time. Lucky for us, she’s continued to act and paint.
Proud(?) to present my third solo exhibition. “The Ceremony” opens 12/13, 6-8pm @ Sargents Daughters
179 East bway nyc
(Image: “Allison in Her Wedding Dress” 2017) pic.twitter.com/tzzRiPmun8
— Jemima Kirke (@jemimakirke) December 8, 2017
Anthony Hopkins was initially hesitant to start painting, but at the urging of his wife who had discovered some of his drawings, he picked up a paintbrush and never looked back. Today, the actor spends several days a week in his Malibu studio.
Stevie Nicks started drawing angels when a friend was diagnosed with Leukemia and has amassed a series of ethereal and whimsical works — much like the bewitching singer herself.
In addition to acting and fronting a rock band, Johnny Depp is also an accomplished painter. The controversial figure’s subject of choice: moody portraits of fellow celebs and friends.
Who would have thought another tool in Dr. Quinn’s medicine bag was a paintbrush? Jane Seymour began crafting delicate landscapes and still lifes more than 25 years ago, and her artistic prowess has led to opportunities to create costumes for the Houston Ballet, exhibit nationally, and serve as an official artist at several Olympics.
Sales of the future King of England’s watercolor landscapes have netted him upward of $2.8 million (the money is donated to his charitable foundation). The Prince is so passionate about art that he co-founded the The Royal Drawing School in 2000.
For her show “Dirty Hippy,” Miley Cyrus created colorful assemblages of found objects, including bedazzled headpieces, beaded stacking bracelets and a mask made of mini-teddy bears. These bold accessories adorned models for Jeremy Scott’s 2015 collection runway show. Though she hasn’t publicly exhibited her work since 2014, Cyrus recently expressed her desire to do another gallery exhibit.
The Nobel Prize winner has been painting throughout his career, often depicting images of Americana and landscapes observed while on tour.
Matthew Gray Gubler
The “Criminal Minds” actor and director is also a very prolific artist — not only has he exhibited around the world, but he has turned his macabre portraits into album covers, merchandise, and contributed works to charity auctions.
Alexa Chung has said that drawing is probably the skill at which she is best. Check out her whimsical illustrations in her book “It.”
Best known as a singer, Tony Bennett paints under his birth name, Anthony Benedetto. Benedetto began drawing at age 5 and still paints every day. Fun fact: Oprah Winfrey owns a Benedetto original.
A venerable style chameleon, it’s no surprise that Lady Gaga has also dabbled in performance art with the help of renowned artist Marina Abramović.
Proving John Lennon isn’t the only Beatle with some serious fine art chops, Paul McCartney began painting his expressionist works only after he turned 40. As a sign of his hometown pride, his first comprehensive exhibit was at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
Rocky has an artistic side. Sylvester Stallone began painting at the age of eight, and to date has produced more than 400 works.
Supermodel and actress Sasha Pivovarova began drawing as a child, creating illustrations for comic books and fairy tails. Dior recently hosted a private showing of 40 of her pieces, including large plastic busts and her signature paintings: black-outlined faces.
The most recognizable work Paul Stanley may have created is the KISS logo, but the front man has sold millions of dollars worth of paintings, as well.
In recent years, Macaulay Culkin has retreated from the spotlight, devoting himself to art and music. His art is colorful and cartoonish, and often draws upon ’90s references.
When he first ventured from Indiana to New York in the Mid-1970s, John Mellencamp was searching for an art school, not a record deal. Art took a backseat to rock stardom and fast-forward to years later when another artist on our list, Bob Dylan, convinced Mellencamp to start publicly showing his work.