There Are Lots of Great Artists at Art Miami—But Only One Played 007 on the Silver Screen

Also on hand: Captain Jack Sparrow.

Pierce Brosnan with art advisor Joyce Varvatos on the opening night of Art Miami with his painting.

It has been quite a week for Hollywood star Pierce Brosnan. In addition to the premiere of his new film Fast Charlie (opening today), five of his paintings are on view at Art Miami, the longstanding fair that preceded even the annual Art Basel fair in this now-packed December art week.

Many fans of the former James Bond star might be surprised to learn that Brosnan has been an avid and passionate painter for at least three decades. Yet he has been open about how painting helped him process the pain of losing his first wife to ovarian cancer in the early 1990s.

The actor, who has said that art was his “first love,” just had a show of 50 paintings and 100 drawings at a La Brea Avenue space in Los Angeles this past May, just as he marked his 70th birthday. Now, because of a last-minute spot that opened up at Art Miami, Brosnan gets his fair debut.

L to R: Pierce Brosnan; Keely Shae Brosnan; Art Miami directors Pamela Cohen and Nick Korniloff at Art Miami opening night.

L to R: Pierce Brosnan; Keely Shae Brosnan; Art Miami directors Pamela Cohen and Nick Korniloff at Art Miami opening night.

Specifically, the outing comes via OLEA, a collection management platform developed by co-founders Billy Presley and Jose Balthazar. After the actor accepted an invite from OLEA, it selected 5 Brosnan canvasses that are on view (Booth AM409) through Sunday December 10.

These include portraits of Picasso and Anthony Bourdain (a friend of Brosnan’s); a near-abstract painting titled Fishhook (2020-22), painted in serene blue and white nautical tones; and a Matisse-inspired interior.

Asked what he hopes viewers take away from the work on view, Brosnan said, “a sense of joy, a sense of wonderment and… unexpected surprise.”

Brosnan gives props to his current wife Keely Shaye Brosnan for encouraging him to show the hundreds of works he has created over the past few decades—many of which had been in storage and unseen by larger audiences—starting with the previous L.A. show and now at Art Miami. “You made it happen,” he wrote in a recent Instagram post, showing the two en route to the fair’s opening night.

“I think it will be nice for viewers to just know that Pierce is an artist and a painter,” Keely told Artnet. “Whenever he’s working on a script he’s always doodling.” In fact, scripts were displayed in vitrines amid the recent L.A. show. “People will see the the process is born on the script page and then becomes a painting. It’s fascinating. It adds a layer of depth to him as a person, writer, producer, actor. The next step is that he gets to share that with the world.”

Installation view of paintings by Pierce Brosnan at Art Miami 2023.

Installation view of paintings by Pierce Brosnan at Art Miami 2023.

On view in the booth of Markowitz Fine Art, the five works are all for sale in a six figure range according to OLEA. (Brosnan’s artwork already has an even more stratospheric auction track record: In 2018, his portrait of Bob Dylan sold for $1.4 million at the 25th annual amFAR Cannes charity gala.)

After a small South Beach brunch on Thursday with friends and colleagues, including a question and answer session with local reporter Luis Aguirre, Brosnan and his wife raced off to interviews about Fast Charlie.

Johnny Depp, The Bunnyman Genesis (2023). <br>Image courtesy the artist and Castle Contemporary.

Johnny Depp, The Bunnyman Genesis (2023).
Image courtesy the artist and Castle Contemporary.

In fact, Brosnan isn’t the only celebrity making waves at Art Miami.

Elsewhere in the fair’s big white tent, London dealer Castle Contemporary is presenting the latest artworks by Johnny Depp, who has turned to selling art in the wake of his extremely bitter and public legal battles with former wife Amber Heard. In the series at Art Miami, titled “The Bunnyman Genesis” (2023), a standing silhouetted figure with rabbit ears “stands before four different, yet parallel, realms in the collection of mixed media prints: ‘Cosmic’, ‘Flowers’, ‘Multiverse’ and ‘Origins’,” according to a statement from the gallery.

Each composition has varying textures and contrasting blocks of color. Castle managing director Ian Weatherby-Blythe told Artnet that these works, including some lower priced prints, had been flying from the booth. 

A self portrait by Johnny Depp on view at Castle Contemporary at Art Miami. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

A self portrait by Johnny Depp on view at Castle Contemporary at Art Miami. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

Depp is currently on set filming a major movie about Amedeo Modigliani, was not on hand to see the works unveiled in Miami. However, a video inside the booth showed him busy at work on his colorful and intriguing screenprints.

“Art is how I get out onto paper, canvas, whatever—the circus in my head. I paint what I feel more than what I see,” said Depp according to a statement on the new “Bunnyman” works.

The Art Miami fair runs through Sunday, December 10 at One Herald Plaza (NE 14th Street & Biscayne Bay), on Biscayne Bay between the Venetian & MacArthur Causeways.


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