Following museum exhibitions at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg (2013) and the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice (2015), the Osthaus Museum Hagen
, on the occasion of Sylvester Stallone's 75th birthday, presents a retrospective of his works. The complete oeuvre spans from the late sixties until today and the various artistic phases of the action star. On view are approximately 50 paintings, including self-portraits and never-before-seen early works.
Stallone's paintings are on the one hand as "action-packed" and expressive as his films and on the other hand subtle and multi-layered in their statements. The Hollywood star executes various art forms including surrealism, expressionism and abstraction. Painting has been an intimate and constant part of Sylvester Stallone's creative expression for the past 55 years, with his artistic output fueling his cinematic work and vice versa.
Sylvester Stallone: "That's what I love about painting, it's the only true communication you can have. While writing can be manipulated, painting is the fastest and purest translator of the subconscious. When something is going on inside you and you hit the canvas, it's hard to fake it. The artist on the canvas is number one for me when it comes to conveying his feelings."
Stallone's most famous film character, ROCKY, was first created on canvas long before the movie script and is featured in the exhibition Finding Rocky, 1975.
Stallone discovered a love of painting at a young age. His early works, which he signed Mike Stallone, were experimental. For financial reasons, he worked as a screenwriter and actor before pursuing his art career.
Stallone is intensively involved with contemporary art as a collector and as a painter. At the end of the 1980s he was particularly interested in the art of Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Mark Rothko. He developed his own artistic style illuminated through expressionistic works, some as alienated self-portraits and others playing with language.
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive bilingual catalogue in English and German with interviews with the artist and texts by Dr. Tayfun Belgin, director of the Osthaus Museum Hagen, Dr. Evgenia Petrova, scientific director of the Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, and Dr Jerome Neutres, former chief curator of the Centre Pompidou and president of the Réunion des Musées nationaux-Grand Palais and Museums du Luxembourg.