Silence Of The Lambs Latest News:DON’T be scared to criticise Sir Anthony Hopkins’ art. He might have frightened a generation as Hannibal Lecter in Silence Of The Lambs but, in real life, the sprightly 72-year-old is much nicer.
Sir Anthony’s first UK exhibition moves to Edinburgh tomorrow after a private viewing tonight.
It follows a stint in London last month, the first time the Oscar-winning actor has exhibited outside America and Canada.
Self-taught, the paintings are of vibrant and colourful faces and animals or pretty landscapes.
“I don’t have anxiety about what people think,” claimed Sir Anthony, adding: “They can’t put me in jail.”
Unfortunately, he won’t be in Edinburgh to see his art showcased in The Dome in the capital’s George Street until Saturday, as he’s filming new Kenneth Branagh-directed movie Thor with Natalie Portman.
The Welsh movie great played Pablo Picasso in the 1996 film Surviving Picasso but has only been painting for five years. Before that, he’d done one painting of a pirate and that was when he was a young boy. However, his third wife, Stella Arroyave, saw some of his felt pen doodles in some old film scripts and told him he should start a hobby in art. The actor’s enthusiasm was boundless and now he paints as often as he can in a studio at his Malibu home.
He admits liking Picasso’s “humour” but his own art falls into two real categories – the bold 3D acrylic faces whose “haunting” eyes are the most dominant features and the more delicate landscapes.
The collection will consist of four acrylics, four prints and 31 ink-on-paper drawings.
There are pieces for sale with prices ranging from ￡600 to ￡9000.
Bringing the show to Edinburgh is Jonathan Poole, 62, the Gloucestershire-based exhibition organiser, who has brought works by other famous people including John Lennon, Ronnie Wood, Miles Davies and Marilyn Monroe.
And Jonathan is adamant Sir Anthony’s art is being exhibited because he’s good, not because he’s famous.
“I wouldn’t be exhibiting if I didn’t like the work,” said the art fan, who hosts four shows a month around the world every year and has used The Dome for art exhibitions for almost a decade.
“I’m past all that. I know he’s a well-known name but I love his work. It’s the power they project, through the eyes.”
Sir Anthony’s technique is to use a palette knife to make thick, swooping strokes with gobs of paint.
Jonathan said: “Sir Anthony is self-taught, which I admire because they are honest. They aren’t anxious of what other people are thinking.
“His work is vivid, colourful abstracts and landscapes and very collectable.
“We had major collectors buying his art. People are going bananas.”
Having brought art by Beatle Lennon and Rolling Stone Wood to Edinburgh, how does Sir Anthony match up? Jonathan isn’t falling for that one.
“All of them are very different.
“I like bringing interesting people to The Dome and I think it’s important the fans of his film know he paints as well.
“Sir Anthony paints with acrylic on canvas and also does ink drawings. He’s self-taught so he’s discovering his own technique.
“He uses a palette knife and concentrates on the eyes because he says you see the world through his eyes.”
Jonathan, who sounds so posh he could pass for Prince Charles, pointed out that his first UK showing in London last month was a resounding success and he’s sure the same will happen in Edinburgh this week.
He said: “A big collector from Vienna bought three of the paintings in London including Orion for ￡18,000, which I’m bringing up to Edinburgh, and Electra for ￡26,000.”
Thanks to films like The Remains Of The Day, we know how good an actor Sir Anthony is but now, in Scotland, we can see if he can really add artist to his name.
The actor certainly feels he has found peace.
He added: “I do it for sheer pleasure. It’s done wonders for my subconscious… I dream now in colours.”�