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Sylvester Stallone: “St. Petersburg is a jewel – worship it”


The famous Hollywood actor brought 36 of his paintings to St. Petersburg – those he had painted from 1975 to 2013. Today an exhibition of his paintings is opening at the Russkiy museum. Stallone had some warm words to say about St. Petersburg and promised to return to the city with his family.


Tatyana Bazhenova, correspondent: “Sylvester Stallone has been into painting since 1960-s, but its only recently that he decided to display his works. His first exhibition took place 2 years ago in Switzerland. Russia is the 2nd country which gets to see the Hollywood star’s paintings - 36 vivid ones are now on display at the Russkiy museum. Stallone admits – his favorite color is red”. 

Attribution to a certain painting style is still undetermined, but Stallone’s works were greatly influenced by abstractive expressionism. The most vivid movie memories of the artist can be seen on the paintings. The famous Rocky Balboa – even before the movie script had been written in the 1970s - Stallone painted his future character. His art couldn’t have gone without colleagues – Michael Jackson, legendary actor of the 1950s James Dean and comedian William Claude Fields.

St. Petersburg is so far the only Russian city to host the exhibition. Hundreds of journalists had been waiting for the star’s arrival – the day before he presented his works at the Inzhenernyi castle.  

Sylvester Stallone, artist and actor: “I turn to art when I cant express my feelings with words. It is easier for me to express my inner world on a canvass. I let my emotions out” 

Stallone says it is now hard to tell whether he’s an actor or a painter. Having dedicated all is life to acting, he had often thought of painting. Only in that case art is individual, while movies are a collective work of thousands. The actor was very warm-hearted about the first Russian city to display his paintings. He promised to return to St. Petersburg as a tourist – with his family. 

Sylvester Stallone, artist and actor: “The world is changing, but you are living the city which has no equal. It really is like a jewel. You must worship everything you’ve got here”. 

Experts had been at odds whether or not the Russkiy museum should display paintings of a Hollywood star. Stallone’s name scared the museum staff away in the early stages. And only after viewing his paintings’ reproductions in St. Petersburg it was decided – inviting the American actor would be a good move. 

Vladimir Gusev, director of the Russkiy museum: “We could see in the reproductions that this was a real artist. Very expressive, dynamic and even tense art, which exposes the temper of a man who cares. This art is aggressive, just as aggressive as our world and societies are”. 

Stallone’s aggressive paintings suited the museum also because they covered almost half-a-century. They say it really is modern art – which is usually on display at the Russkiy. The exhibition is now open for visitors – until mid-January.