Website last updated: 9-6-2023

Exclusive report from Pierce Brosnan's first-ever solo art exhibit

By: Mark Cerulli
Pierce Brosnan, So Many Dreams, Los Angeles
So Many Dreams, the first-ever solo exhibit of Pierce Brosnan’s artwork opened to much fanfare in Los Angeles on 14th May 2023, with lots of press and a private VIP party attended by Bond girl and Pierce's old friend and Malibu neighbour Jane Seymour. Two weeks later, its closing day was much more low key with just a few people circulating through the gallery, admiring his 50 original paintings - vibrant works bursting off the canvas and 100 sketches.

My wife and I went because, of course, it was Pierce Brosnan, but I was also curious about his work. As we walked around the sunny gallery, my wife suddenly said, “He’s here.” Sure enough, there was Pierce himself holding a tray of champagne glasses with a smile. Still tall and commanding, his dark hair now gray, Pierce is the very embodiment of “aging gracefully.” His lovely wife, journalist Keely Shaye Smith was also on hand, greeting guests and talking about her husband’s art.

Pierce Brosnan, So Many Dreams, artwork, exhibit
Pierce Brosnan showing his art to visitors of the exhibit. Photo by Mark Cerulli. All rights reserved.

Before becoming an actor, Pierce was set on a career as an artist, having started painting as a young lad. He even found work as a commercial artist in London before his other passion, acting, took over. He moved to LA in 1982 and his suave looks and charm almost immediately landed him the lead on the Remington Steele series, which ran for five years. Acting took over and he had to put his brushes aside. Painting came back into his life during the dark time of his first wife Cassandra Harris’ battle with cancer. Art became his refuge and therapy, Pierce explained, pointing to “One Dark Night”, a stark yet heartfelt work from 1987 done as Cassandra bravely fought her illness.

Pierce Brosnan, One Dark Night, So Many Dreams, artwork, exhibit
Pierce Brosnan's artwork “One Dark Night” from 1987. Photo by Mark Cerulli. All rights reserved.

Painting was also a way to ease into a role – “I would paint on my scripts as I learned a part...” Pierce explained – and, indeed, an exhibit case held film scripts to The Matador and other projects covered with the star’s intricate drawings and doodles. (One can only imagine what they’d get at auction.) He also doodled on the note pads Keely thoughtfully left near their phones during the long calls that are part of any film project. Indeed, the gallery devoted an entire wall to Pierce’s doodles, each one on an identical piece of white paper. Huge kudos go to Keely who saved and curated the sketches and encouraged her husband to mount the exhibit in the first place.

While Bond wasn’t a topic of discussion, Pierce did have several paintings from the 00 stage of his career – one was a stark white piece of canvas with the words “The Gunbarrel Opens on -- ” written in script format. Underneath was a self-portrait of him at the time.

Pierce Brosnan, So Many Dreams, The gun barrell opens on, artwork, exhibit
Pierce Brosnan's artwork “The Gunbarrel Opens on -- ” from 2010. Photo by Mark Cerulli. All rights reserved.

Another work titled “Sleeping with da Fishes” from 1995 was painted during the filming of GoldenEye (1995).

Pierce Brosnan, Sleeping with the Fishes, So Many Dreams, artwork, exhibit
Pierce Brosnan's artwork “Sleeping with da Fishes” from 1995. Photo by Mark Cerulli. All rights reserved.

Also on loan was his eye-catching portrait of Bob Dylan that sold for $1.4M at AmFAR’s Cannes fundraiser in 2018.

The gallery’s huge rooms full of art showed a deeply talented and emotional man who used art to cope with some of the wicked curveballs life threw at him. As the actor told the AP, “These paintings definitely have a history of who I was, where I was, when I was.”

Pierce Brosnan: So Many Dreams is presented by visual artist Guy Rusha and there are plans to bring the exhibit to Europe. In the meantime, check out his work and director Thom Zimny’s amazing short film about Pierce and his art. The film is produced by Dylan Brosnan who also composed the music:

A limited run of lithographs signed by Pierce Brosnan can be purchased from the official exhibition store.

Editor's Note:
Mark Cerulli interviewed Pierce Brosnan for HBO during the GoldenEye World Premiere and for The Making of Goldfinger DVD documentary at Leavesden Studios in 1995 with then-partners Lee Pfeiffer and John Cork.

Mark Cerulli, Pierce Brosnan, Leavesden Studios, GoldenEye
Mark Cerulli with Pierce Brosnan at Leavesden Studios in 1995 during the production of GoldenEye.



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