BY DONNA FREYDKIN
If Adrien Brody could have an all-night bacchanal with any painter, it would be with a very famous Spanish surrealist that he played in Woody Allen's "Midnight In Paris."
"I'd have to say Dali. It would be the most interesting dinner I can imagine. And I could show him my impression of him,'" says Brody. "I've heard amazing stories. I have friends who were friends with Dali. I have heard amazing anecdotes of dinners with Dali."
The Oscar winner is himself a artist, and is debuting his collection, called Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and Handguns, at Art Basel on Dec. 2 in a pop-up show. Yes, he's nervous. Yes, he's thrilled. Yes, he's very, very proud.
"Some people will appreciate the work and some will not. This for me is a necessary other creative outlet. I make music. I have complete creative freedom in this process. Being an actor is collaborative. Being a painter is solitary," says Brody.
The inspiration for this body of work came from what he saw around him, growing up in New York.
"I thought, what is culturally significant to America? The first image that popped into my head a hamburger, so I painted that. It evolved into fast food. We all gravitate towards a quick fix. And then these violent images haunted me and materialized in my work. They're one and the same. There's glorified imagery of guns and fast food, even though they're both quite harmful," says Brody, who's been painting since he was six years old and won an Oscar for 2002's "The Pianist."
He's not slamming fast food per se. "We're told about the benefits of eating healthy, but where can you easily grab a really healthy meal that's affordable and accessible? I'm guilty of that as well. This is more of a meditation on what exists and how we're influenced by the messaging we see," says Brody.
Now, says Brody, he's fully in the zone.
"I have a studio in my home, a dedicated place and I paint most of the day when I'm able to be home. I cook in between and then deal with my work and then I go back and paint. I was painting until midnight last night. I'm painting in between when I come home from my acting work. The beauty of it is, you don't have to show your work. You don't have to face the pressure of formalizing a concept. But you can benefit by the beauty of the freedom of expression on your terms," he says.