Pierce Brosnan recently unveiled a more intimate side of himself in an exhibit of his own artwork in Los Angeles. It is through his artwork that he feels he can truly express himself fully. Brosnan, in an interview said “I’ve tried to write memoirs, and it’s so boring. It’s just having to dig into the head and the heart and the memory of life. So, these paintings definitely have a history of who I was, where I was, when I was. The artwork is biographical”.
Brosnan is best known as an actor and as the James Bond agent in the popular James Bond movies. He played James Bond in four of the movies between 1995 and 2002.
The art exhibit ran through 21st May 2023
This exhibition for Brosnan, is probably the most vulnerable of roles that he has ever ‘played’. It is the first solo art exhibition he has ever done. The exhibition, entitled “So Many Dreams”, is showing in Los Angeles and ran through May 21st. The collection consists of 50 paintings and drawings, including portraits and landscapes that Brosnan produced from the 1980s until today.
Originally from Ireland, Brosnan began his love of art whilst living there. Over the years painting has become more important to him. He headed off to America where he had his first big break when he landed the part of NBC’s Remington Steele which propelled Brosnan into the limelight and made him a household name, not only in America but internationally as well.
He says of that time “I found myself living here, and I was strongly influenced by the LA artists of the early 80s. I had a certain desire and wish and a want to paint. I had the money to afford the art supplies, the canvas, the brushes. I bought all these wonderful, wonderful art supplies, and they just ended up in a cupboard.”
Brosnan was married to the late Australian actress, Cassandra Harris. It was in 1987 when sadly she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that Brosnan picked up his paint brushes and turned to art as a way of dealing with all the emotional trauma that he and his late wife were facing. He says “One night, I got up, and I just started painting. I started painting with my fingers.” He said he would do this whilst his late wife was undergoing her chemotherapy sessions. Sadly, she passed away in 1991.
Included in the collection on show is the piece entitled “One Dark Night”, the painting that he created that night. The black canvas covered with an array of blended primary colors would be an expression of the emotional frustration that he was feeling at that time, and the possibility of releasing some of that energy. He says “I went to the canvas to explore that dark rage, that kind of fractured pain that I had. But the color came out. And so, the color balance to whatever that inner life was.”
His collection does include a lot of bright colors but Brosnan says he doesn’t want to put his artwork into a category. He says “Someone else can categorize it. It’s not up for me to define it. It’s the audience. It’s they who want to criticize or celebrate the work.”
Brosnan is married to Keely Shaye Brosnan who is a journalist and documentarian. He says it was his wife who encouraged and finally persuaded him to put together the collection and exhibit it. Brosnan contends that many of his paintings started life as sketches and drawings that he created while speaking with people on the phone. He says “My wife, Keely, bought these pads that sit by the phone with her initials, my initials. And soon as I am on a phone call, or I’m doing business, and I have a morning call, the pad is there, and the drawings just happen. They just show themselves, so they have a mystery.”
In the exhibition there is a wall that features many of the drawings, some of them portraits, faces. Brosnan reflects “I look at that, and I think, who is this person. Who is this man? What is the meaning of these images?”
The decision to exhibit his artwork, to which he credits his wife, Keely, coincides with his 70th birthday. “It’s my own birthday gift to myself to have the courage to say, come and see my artwork. I still have so many dreams. I have fulfilled coming to America. Creating a career for myself was a big dream and a gamble, and it paid off. ‘So Many Dreams’ is a love story. It’s a love story of women who have influenced my life and my children and the art form that I make as an actor.” This exhibition is a way of commemorating his life thus far.
Seeing the collection of all his work has enabled his to, as he says “Work my way out of the weeds and trying to define it and trying to grow as an artist, as a painter.” He also expressed his desire to try out other forms of art like sculpture, ceramics and even wood carving. He says “This is definitely a transitional moment in my life as an actor, as an artist…and that fills me with an exhilaration of expectations and desires and wants. And we shall see where the wind takes us.”
As mentioned earlier, Brosnan found writing a memoir boring and was never able to complete it. He says “I think a book of paintings would be nice. It would be a coffee table book with a painting and then 500 words or more about that period in time, that person. That kind of things appeals to me.” We all have ways of checking in with our inner selves. For some it’s painting, for others it’s writing, for others it’s a meditative walk on the beach, and for others it’s being the superhero in video or online games like when using your Fairgo casino login. So, get on with it and maybe our next article will be about you!