By R. Couri Hay | July 8, 2016 | People

Silver screen stunner Adrien Brody takes a break from acting to display his brush-strokes at Art Southampton.

The artist who created the paintings of fish you’ll spot in one booth at Art Southampton has an Oscar. Adrien Brody, who has blossomed as a visual artist in recent years, will be exhibiting paintings and sculptures at the art fair, which runs July 7 through 11 at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill. Brody, who once portrayed Salvador Dali in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris and famously smooched Halle Berry after winning his Academy Award for Best Actor in The Pianist, says, “I’ve made a conscious decision to pursue my work as an artist and to take the time that is necessary to isolate myself and paint and grow.”

Brody had been exploring his painterly side more and more regularly in private, and then an artist friend, Domingo Zapata, invited him to share a workspace, which gave him the courage to share his work. A bonus of creating art is that you get to call the shots. “It’s a very pure form of creative expression, with a level of autonomy that is not something an actor possesses, nor does a film director, or anyone who must rely on the collaborative process that filmmaking requires.”

While fish have been a recurring theme in his work, Brody, who has also exhibited at Art Miami and Art New York, feels that the pieces he has included in this exhibit, entitled “Hooked,” are particularly apt for Art Southampton. “The Hamptons is a beach community, and there is an affinity with fish, and an appreciation of the fragility of the ocean and wildlife,” the Queens native explains. “I think people who have experienced the blessings of the sea in close proximity have an appreciation and understanding, so I think local people up there will relate to the theme.”

Brody is thankful that Art Southampton founder Nick Korniloff has given him the opportunity to show his artwork at art fairs alongside icons like Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Salvador Dali, and Andrew Wyeth, all of whose work will be included in the fair. “The beauty of an art fair is it’s open to the public and it’s the public’s opportunity to determine what speaks to them and what they find interesting,” Brody says. “And I’m very grateful for Nick’s encouragement and to be welcomed into a fair that has so many esteemed, celebrated artists who have had decades to prove their worth.”

The journey of pursuing a new path in the visual arts has provided other dividends as well. “This has given me a great deal of creative freedom and, frankly, joy in just the process of it, and I’m very grateful that many people have responded to the work,” he says. “I’ve managed to donate works and raise an enormous amount of money for charity. It’s a blessing.” Art Southampton takes place July 7–11 at Nova’s Ark Project, 60 Millstone Rd., Bridgehampton