Sylvester Stallone artwork on show in Russia

The Arena - Sylvester Stallone Some 30 pieces created by Sylvester Stallone are on show at The Russian Museum

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A collection of paintings by Hollywood action star Sylvester Stallone have gone on show at The Russian Museum in St Petersburg.

The exhibition, titled: Sylvester Stallone. Art. 1975-2013, is a selection of works produced by the 67-year-old over the past four decades.

At the show's opening the star said, if he had the choice, he would spend his life drawing instead of acting.

"I think I'm a much better painter than an actor," he said.

"It's much more personal and I'm allowed to just do what I want to do. Quite often in acting you have to play a certain part, you cannot speak as much as you want to speak. I suppose the heroes don't talk much, you have to be very stoic."

Oscar-nominated Stallone studied art before his film career took off and has also had shows in Switzerland and Miami.

Champion Due - Sylvester Stallone The show's opening attracted about 1,000 visitors who lined up to view the paintings
Death of the Friend - Sylvester Stallone Sylvester Stallone told journalists: 'I hope you will like my pictures'
Backlash - Sylvester Stallone The actor said he never expected his works would be shown at the museum

'Real artist'

The museum's website described Stallone's works as "comments on the events in his creative and personal life" that focused on the use of bright colours.

Museum director Vladimir Gusev said Stallone's paintings "show the character of a passionate man" and were not simply "the work of an amateur".

"This is a real artist," he told journalists. "The Russian museum does not show weak artists."

However the state museum - which is heavily focused on Russian art - has received criticism for exhibiting works by the star.

"If my visit is a challenge for somebody, let it be so," Stallone said when asked what he thought of the critics who thought showing his artwork was a travesty.

Curators defended the exhibition, arguing the show was on display at one of its branches of the museum - which boasts a modern art collection including works by Western artists like Andy Warhol - rather than its main building.

Stallone's artworks will be on display for a month.

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