Sylvester Stallone poses at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Nice, France


I think I’m a much better painter than an actor. It’s much more personal and I’m allowed to just do what I want to do. Quite often in acting you have to play a certain part, you cannot speak as much as you want to speak. I suppose the heroes don’t talk much, you have to be very stoic.”

—Sylvester Stallone

Best known for famed roles in “Rocky” and “Rambo”, Sylvester Stallone’s first “real” love is painting. Since childhood he has identified his true calling as a visual artist and has even said that if offered the choice, he would spend his life painting instead of starring in movies.

“There is a public face and a private face,” Stallone said, “and I feel the same way about art. It’s a collage of emotions. And when you can transfer that onto the canvas, it’s an amazing feeling,”

Over the years Stallone has developed a highly individual style that comprises a bold use of paint and color, as well as symbolic tropes such as a recurring clock and cryptic text.

Stallone also uses painting as an aid in the development of the characters that he creates:

In describing the “Rocky” painting, created prior to writing the script, he said: “I try to visualize something before I put it into words. Words are very difficult and sometimes unforgiving. So if I could see what Rocky looked like, then perhaps I could write about him”

Back to top