Jim Carrey Spent the Last Six Years Painting. Now, See What the Actor-Turned-Artist Has Created.
The newly minted gallery artist speaks about his unstoppable urge to paint.
Jim Carrey is not a man to do things by halves—at least not when it comes to his art. For the last six years, he has thrown himself into painting, working so prolifically that some might mistake his home for a museum. This weekend, the actor showcased the fruits of his labor in “Sunshower,” a solo exhibition at the Signature Gallery Group‘s Las Vegas gallery.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not covered in paint or something from doing sculptures,” Carrey said in a recent interview with W magazine. “It’s all about that for me now—being completely involved, heart, mind, and soul. Sometimes it’s art, sometimes it’s performance, and sometimes it’s just talking to someone.”
The way Carrey talks about his work, art sounds less like something he makes and more like something that happens to him. “Making art in general is not really a choice,” he said. “I’m being painted and I’m being expressed and I’m being created, and there’s little me involved.”
With the exception of “Nothing to See Here,” a small show at Palm Springs’ Heather James Fine Art in 2011, Carrey had kept his art project relatively quiet. That is, until last month, when Signature released “I Needed Color,” a six-minute documentary showing the comedian at work in his studio. Speaking to W, Carrey admitted that he released the film, in part, to reveal to his fans what he had been up to in recent years, a time with relatively few acting projects on his résumé.
The response to the video was explosive: It has now been viewed over five million times, and the art was savaged by Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones. Carrey made headlines again this month after giving a bizarre interview during New York Fashion Week, telling E! News, “There’s no meaning to any of this,” and that he “wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could come to and join, and here I am.”
In addition to his artistic pursuits, Carrey will soon be the subject of a documentary premiering on Netflix, Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The doc chronicles the filming of the 1999 movie Man on the Moon, and the actor’s commitment to method acting in his portrayal of comedic great Andy Kaufman. Also in the works is a novel Carrey is writing with Dana Vachon, set to come out late this year or early next.
For the moment, though, the focus is on Carrey’s painting. In Vegas, would-be collectors and fans looking to attend the opening were essentially asked to commit to buying an artwork up front. “$10,000 per couple—that’s for two people to attend. Entire amount applied toward Jim Carry artwork of your choice,” the gallery’s website advertised. That price also came with “cocktails, hors-d’oeuvres, desserts, and live entertainment,” and the chance to meet the Hollywood star in person.
“You might not necessarily think about Vegas and art in the same breath,” Carrey admitted. “[B]ut I Iove the idea because it gives me an opportunity to not only let people who want to spend money on art see the stuff, but also real people who walk in who might not go into the Gagosian or whatever it is—not that I have that option yet.”
There are, of course, a select few who get to see Carrey’s work at home in his studio. In addition to Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, Carrey shared that visitors have included “a lot of creative people” and “big athletes”—Lebron James tweeted in admiration after the release of “I Needed Color“—many of whom have purchased his works.
Those paintings are generally bright and colorful, with subjects such as Jesus reflecting the exhibition’s somewhat spiritual bent. The show title, “Sunshower,” said Carrey, is about witnessing things like sun showers that bring you “into awareness in this present moment, to that part of your consciousness that wants to stop in time and own it.”
See more works from the exhibition below.
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