Rocky's Courage

At this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach Art Fair, a new artist showed his paintings. His name? Sylvester Stallone. Yes, that Sylvester Stallone, the dude who immortalized two of machodom’s greatest icons, Rocky and Rambo, on screen. There are many celebs these days who try their hand at a “second” creative pursuit. P Diddy did a collection of car wheels , Cindy Crawford “inspires” furniture design and does bedding not to mention the numerous stars who have clothing collections.

I cannot judge whether Mr. Stallone’s paintings are good or bad as I’m not an expert in fine art.But what I can say with certainty is that Rocky showed a lot of courage by putting his art in the ring. Painting unlike design is totally expressive and the final product is wrought at the hands of its creator. The design of products is a multi-process endeavour. At some point, the designer will cease creating pencil strokes and the computer, moulding machine or upholstery people will take over. Stallone’s brushstrokes are there in plain view, ripe for praise or ridicule.

We have no idea at which point the so-called celeb-designers headed back to the Hollywood hills while legions of technicians and craftspeople completed their “projects”. I am in no way accusing these individuals of not having anything to do with their designs. But this profession is not as open an undertaking as art. The artist will create the piece in their imagination and execute it with their own hands. In design, it’s much easier to hide behind the processes. In that great title bout of the celeb-artistes, the others wouldn’t last a round with Rocky.

I salute Sylvester Stallone in this regard and one other. Through his association with the art world, maybe more males will develop an interest in painting. Maybe, the stigma that art is not a very macho thing to pursue will somehow diminish. An interest in art is fundamental in better understanding and appreciating design.

View Sylvester Stallone's work.

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