Sir Anthony Hopkins Art for Wedi 7

Earlier this week I recorded another couple of mins for Wedi 7 (see previous posts) which should air this evening on S4C. It’s my comments and view on Sir Anthony Hopkins latest exhibition of paintings, his first significant show outside of the USA. It’s not a massive show only 38 or so pieces in acrylic ranging from small items on Photographic paper, and interesting substrate in itself to larger items on traditional canvas.

There is an intensity to his work, the acrylic lets him work quickly and with a necessary fury. His own confessed impatience shows through both in the landscapes and the darker figurative works. The darkness is always there whereas in the past it might have been anger, rage and infamous alcoholism – and many a lazy journalist has lept to that conclusion.

Art as therapy isn’t a new concept, also many people come to the canvas and ceramics late in life and find a whole new way of expressing themselves regardless of their previous exploits. Hopkins is a compulsive learner of lines, an addictive personality who seems to do everything with a passion or not at all. Quick to anger and cruel to comment his personal relationships have appeared from the outside tempestious and fractured.

He says he finds composing music and his art a great release, a window into his unfettered subconscious. Without an established framework to confine him he enjoys working without rules. He’s claimed to have been more Van Gogh in his indulgences but after realising in 1975 that sustaining such excesses would have soon killed him he stopped the booze and hasn’t looked back.

Personally the art itself isn’t ground breaking. There are many people using similar techniques and expressing similar sentiments and catharsis. That isn’t to say that it’s of poor quality, but it has more value as an insight into the mind of one of the finest actors of a generation than anything else. There is an argument that if it wasn’t an Oscar winning legend’s name above the door then there wouldn’t be as much interest. I’d counter that by saying that if he gets people who’ve never been into a gallery to experience something new then that can’t be bad. If he inspires them to pick up a paintbrush then that may be a gift beyond measure.

As always a delight to work with Nia and the crew. Kudos also to Tartan Silk who are managing the PR for the exhibitions. The exhibition is at Gallery 27, Cork St, London 16th to 20th February, and in The Dome, Edinburgh 2nd to 6th March.

Scroll to Top