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Adrien Brody’s Return to Art Basel

After making a splash in Miami last year, the Oscar-winner’s latest collection is a colorful commentary on commercialism

This time last year, actor Adrien Brody was preparing to share his (off-screen) art publicly for the first time with an exhibition entitled “Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and Handguns”, which depicted just that. The buzz surrounding the show seemed to paint Brody very vividly as an “actor-turned-artist”, which is true of course, but to hear him tell it, painting is much more than an aside.

Hanging in Miami this time around will be a series Brody calls “Hooked”, which originally debuted at Art New York in June, but will include additional, never before seen pieces. On the surface, the collection is a bright, pop-art inspired ode to the ocean, with splatter painted fish and a rendering of canned pink salmon—an allusion to Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans”. A little deeper down, the series is a comment on consumer culture. “If we look closely, we are the fish,” says Brody. “We are the ones ‘hooked’ as we consume with abandon, as we are fed untruths and get pulled into pettiness and dullness. This lack of consciousness greatly impacts our own ‘inner ecosystem’ and how the fragility and beauty and uniqueness of fish is much like our own spirit and spiritual state.”

A painting from “Hooked” by Adrien Brody

Creating “Hooked” required a spiritual journey of sorts for Brody, who for the past two years has put his acting career on pause to immerse himself in painting. “I tend to make copious notes and meditate on ideas and imagery. I am in a very experimental stage and am working on cultivating many techniques to better express ideas and feelings in my work,” he says. “I’m excited to have found a way to fulfill my creative ambitions with more autonomy.“

“Hooked” opens tonight at the Art Miami Pavilion and will be on view through December 4th.