There’s something about being famous that makes you think you can do anything. Actors, musicians and other stars love to show the world that they’re just so talented. One of the worst ways they do it is dabbling in fine art. While there are some celebrities who can actually put paint to canvas, most of them should be banned from the galleries. Here are 10 of the most egregious offenders.
The impetus for this list, Kurt Cobain’s widow recently staged her first art show in New York City. Love, best known as the frontwoman for '90s band Hole, spends most of her time having meltdowns on Twitter, but recently she’s discovered a love of painting. Unfortunately, her art is just awful: emo scribbles of ladies with their boobs hanging out, accompanied by a lot of text.
Untalented hanger-on David Arquette got to sleep with Courteney Cox for way longer than justice allows, but since his marriage has collapsed he’s channeled his creative passions into a new outlet: painting. If you follow him on Twitter (and you shouldn’t), you’ll occasionally be treated to pictures of his “artwork,” which is primarily sloppy graffiti-influenced takes on famous people and animals.
Dee Dee Ramone
The Ramones took rock and roll back to the glory days of three-chord lunacy, essentially launching punk rock with their 1976 debut. Bassist Dee Dee was never satisfied with just being part of a band, leaving the group in 1989 to pursue a very ill-advised rap career. Dee Dee also enjoyed painting, leveraging his underground celebrity to convince galleries to show his art. Unfortunately, said art was seriously incompetent, looking like something a semi-talented third grader would create.
We all know that Sly’s a multi-talented guy, and God forbid we talk smack about one of the greatest action stars of all time. But he should probably leave painting to the pros. Stallone used his swag to snag a gallery show at 2009’s Art Basel Miami Beach, but his paintings are a little tough to look at. Using the traditional celebrity art method of splattery, colorful oils on canvas, Stallone’s pictures somehow sold with price tags as high as $50,000. Like he needs the money.
The guys in Kiss are well known for having big egos, with Gene Simmons the biggest of them all. You can say this about Simmons, though: he never tried to paint. The same can’t be said for bandmate Paul Stanley, who has been wrecking canvases for decades without any improvement. Stanley’s art features wild trails of paints that sort of look like people and sort of look like Hershey squirts. Let’s just say the Starman should stick to singing “Strutter.”
In Soviet Russia, unfunny comedians paint you! Yakov Smirnoff made a name for himself during the Cold War with his jokes about life in the Motherland. Since his bookings are primarily to old folks in Branson, Mo., he has a lot of spare time these days. And he uses it to paint. Smirnoff is a little more technically talented than some of the other hacks on this list, but his subject matter is bananas. If you like pictures of Jesus laughing, this guy has you covered.
Billy Dee Williams
Colt 45 pitchman and mayor of Cloud City, Billy Dee Williams attended the New York Academy of Fine Arts in the 1980s and has been painting for decades. His work is technically quite good, but they all have seriously skewed, expressionistic perspectives that are a little hard to look at. Oh, and he paints Lando Calrissian a lot.
It’s becoming more obvious that Jim Carrey has some mental issues. Being in a long-term relationship with Jenny McCarthy would probably drive even the calmest man insane. But until recently we only saw evidence of that on the big screen. In 2012, Carrey debuted his first solo show of paintings at Heather James Fine Art in Palm Springs, and let’s be honest; his stuff is cray. His bizarre sculptures and giant paintings covered in scrawled words, ripped apart and stitched back together seem like the work of a serial killer who is also a party clown.
The talk-show host and general loudmouth Rosie O’Donnell shared some of her nutty collages online in her blog, but she’s also branched out into large-scale artwork of equally poor quality. Rosie’s 2007 solo show “Solace” exhibited paintings she did in response to 9/11. O’Donnell churned out thousands of these gloppy abstracts in just a few years, which is kind of upsetting when you think about all that wasted canvas.
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All of the Beatles have experimented with visual art in their spare time, but none did it with the pure idiotic zeal of Ringo. Starr’s artwork resembles Keith Haring with a head injury, full of flat colors, inept figures and corny visual puns. He does them all on the computer, which means he can produce multiple copies to be sold for thousands of dollars, and people buy them because people are stupid and will buy anything.