You are likely familiar with the names Ronnie Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Hopper, Jane Seymour, Pierce Brosnan, John Mellencamp and Martin Mull. You know these names because you are familiar with their work as singers, musicians, and actors, but did you know that they are also respected painters and photographers? They are, as are many other well known celebrities.
As you might expect, some artwork by celebrities leaves much to be desired. However, you will likely be quite surprised at the exceptional work done by some of them. I recently visited an exhibition of Dennis Hopper’s work in Los Angeles, and I was very impressed. I particularly liked his 1963 photograph of a very young Bill Cosby, hiding in a bush, with only his head and feet showing. The Dennis Hopper exhibit also included early photos of Paul Newman, Andy Warhol, and Ike and Tina Turner. It turns out that Dennis Hopper was a photographer and artist before he was an actor. This is the case with many of these celebrity artists. Two others that started out as artists are Martin Mull and Pierce Brosnan. Martin Mull earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1967, and Pierce Brosnan worked as a commercial artist before he started acting. I guess it’s not completely surprising that people talented in the arts of music and acting may also have talent as visual artists.
As with Dennis Hopper, many of the celebrity artists often use their celebrity friends as the subjects of their artwork. Much of Ronnie Wood’s work includes his Rolling Stones bandmates as the subjects. One very nice painting of his, titled “Conversation Piece”, shows Ronnie along with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts at work in the recording studio. But my favorite is his painting “Get Up, Stand Up” of Bob Marley, with his guitar in his hands and his dreadlocks flying through the air. Other artists get their inspiration elsewhere. Viggo Mortensen creates pastel-colored abstract paintings, and John Mellencamp creates dark, somewhat disturbing images. Jane Seymour’s work includes beautifully colored floral pieces, landscapes, and images of children.
The work of these artists and many others is available for sale at various real world and online galleries. If you would like to find out more, take a look at www.PopLifeArt.com. PopLifeArt.com currently has more than 50 celebrity artists listed, including the artists mentioned in this article. It includes links to each celebrity’s official website, if they have one, as well as links to online galleries where you can view and purchase their artwork.