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Pierce Brosnan debuted as James Bond in 1995 via the Martin Campbell-directed GoldenEye, a film featuring many of the explosive action sequences expected from 007. During the six months Brosnan spent dodging and winking in front of cameras inside England’s Leavesdon Studios, a prop master consistently delivered packets of earplugs as a necessary protection.
While he made good use of them on set — “if you didn’t put these yellow plugs in, you soon knew about it because you went home deaf and ringing” — he found another application back in his dressing room, a former executive suite that doubled as a makeshift art studio.
“I set up the easel,” Brosnan says, recalling his creative process to The Hollywood Reporter by phone Wednesday, “and this image on the back of the earplugs came to me, and I thought I would try and render it in the vein of Roy Lichtenstein. I’d long admired his ability to organize a graphic element in a painting and to kind of amplify the mundane into a dazzling image, and yet have simplicity and tonality that is also kind of calm.”
The result was a 48 x 48-inch acrylic painting aptly titled “Earplugs.” For the first time in his prolific painting career, Brosnan is offering 100 limited edition silkscreen prints through a collaboration with L.A. gallery Seasons. The 28 x 28-inch prints — presented in a linen bound folio and produced by Kevin Giffen and Daniel Wlazlak of Wranch Studio and Da-Ta Studio — all come with Brosnan’s signature, a photograph from 1995 of the artist in action, and a note that details his artistic path.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit A Sense of Home, the nonprofit dedicated to bridging the gap for youth who have aged out of the foster care system. It’s a cause close to his heart and that of longtime wife Keely Shaye Brosnan. “A Sense of Home has created this environment so they can go into a home and it can be furnished with donations, beds, chairs, posters, art. It is meaningful to my wife, Keely and I, to support young men and women who are trying to find their way in life, as I did as a young man at 16 leaving school with nothing but a handful of drawings and paintings, I found artistic life.”
Brosnan, who is spending time in Hawaii during the pandemic, continues to flex his paintbrush with big plans for a future exhibition of his work at a friend’s gallery on the Westside as well as offering up additional limited-edition prints including the famous one of Bob Dylan that fetched $1.4 million during the 2018 amFAR Cinema Against AIDS auction in Cannes.
“I’ve been painting much more, and my practice has become more developed. I look at the work and it has a gesture. It has a form. It has an articulation. There is a collection here within the work, and there’s a progression within the work. Over the last year — many years before but now in a more concentrated effort — I’ve been endeavoring to finish the works and start new ones,” he explains.
Adding, “There’s a series of chair paintings. There’s going to be a Bob Dylan release. I have one beautiful portrait of Anthony Bourdain who I always just reveled in. I enjoyed his travels and his passions for life, food, people, and the exploration of humanity. I did one of him, and I have another portrait of Picasso, John Lennon. Many more things to come.”
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