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Who knew

9 celebrities with surprising art careers

Did you know that Pierce Brosnan and Tony Bennett were painters? Seriously.

THIS WEEKEND ACTRESS Tilda Swinton appeared in New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) but not as a visitor.

Swinton was there to perform an art piece called The Maybe that sees her lie in a glass box all day while visitors watch her.

She debuted the piece in 1995 and will perform it several times this year turning up on whatever day she chooses to do it.

Of course Swinton isn’t the only star with a sideline in artistic expression, here some celebrities whose artistic ambitions may surprise you

1. Pierce Brosnan

Sure he’s the Irish actor who got to play James Bond and mangle Abba classics in Mammia Mia! but did you know that Pierce Brosnan is also a painter?

He originally trained as a painter before heading into acting and in the 1980s returned to it. He now sells work for his charity the Brosnan Trust.

You can watch a video of his various works below, sadly there’s no music so you’ll just have to hum the Bond theme to yourself while you watch

Vinnie Rafferty / YouTube

2. Macaulay Culkin

We all remember Culkin from the Home Alone movies and his adult acting career has definitely had ewer roles of note.

But now he’s reinvented himself as an artist creating a “collective” with Toby Goodshank and Adam Green (formerly of indie rock band The Moldy Peaches) called 3MB.

They make splashy, colorful art that references pop culture which basically means paintings of He-Man painting naked cast members from Seinfeld.

Watching this video of Culkin and co. talk about their art may leave you scratching your head about what it all means and how Kevin McAllister is now in his early 30s.

LiveatLPR / YouTube

3.  Bryan Adams

Not only is Bryan Adams famous for a rake of faintly cheesy rock tunes (admit it, you started singing Summer to 69 to yourself when you saw his name) he’s also got a legitimate career as a successful photographer.

Adams has had work published in various editions of Vogue, Harper’s Baazar and Esquire and photographed everyone from Amy Winehouse to Take That.

He also makes short films from his shoots including this rather impressive one with Lana Del Rey

badamsfilms / YouTube

4. Viggo Mortensen


Alongside roles in The Lord of the Rings series Viggo Mortensen is also an artist whose work takes in painting, photography and … singing.

Mortensen has released sixteen albums (!) and worked a painter and poet for years.

All that and he had time to star in one of the biggest film franchises ever. How?

5. Tony Bennett

Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Press Association Images

He’s not just your mum’s favourite crooner, Tony Bennett is also a painter.

He paints under his real name Anthony Benedetto and published a book about his work in 2007.

His work sells worldwide and according to his website, has been purchased by stars such as Bill Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.

If it’s good enough for Oprah it’s good enough for us.

6.  James Franco

Franco was spotted at the Tilda Swinton MoMA piece at the weekend and is no stranger to making art of his own.

He’s published short stories, directed documentaries and turned a stint on US soap opera General Hospital into a self proclaimed performance art piece.

And of course he paints too.

It’s obviously not enough to just act these days you have to be painting on the side too. Who has the time?

MyBoogieBoutique / YouTube

7.  Bono

Harry Lime/ Entertainment

When he’s not fronting one of the biggest bands in the world, wearing sunglasses indoors and being super charitable Bono finds other ways to express himself.

In 2003 he created illustrations for Gavin Friday’s reworking of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Bono worked with his children Jordan and Eve to create the images for the book which raised money for the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Even in his downtime Bono is a do-gooder. We’re starting to feel inadequate.

8. Jane Seymour

Michael Stephens/PA Archive/Press Association Images

You may remember her from Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman days or even her stint as a Bond girl in the 80s.

Alongside the fact that she hasn’t aged a day (seriously) Seymour is also a prolific painter with a whole fine art section on her website.

Here’s a video of Seymour talking through some of her recent pieces.

If you watched Dr Quinn with your family of a Saturday on RTE this might be a particularly nostalgic experience for you.

FineArtMagazine / YouTube

9. Jim Carrey

His high octane comedy characters are what he’s best known for but Jim Carrey also moonlights as a painter too. He had his first solo exhibition last year and regularly tweets teases of pieces he’s working on

Carrey is famously wary of putting his work on Twitter for all to see but one helpful fan has compiled lots of them here. Lucky us.

photouber / YouTube

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