The ‘compulsive’ power of Sharon Stone’s art

The show shares a title with one of the 19 paintings on view, a 6foot-high canvas featuring a ghostly serpentine form coiled around a pair of carefully rendered flowers. “The planet is our garden,” Stone said of the symbolism behind the work. “I think that many people are disrespecting the planet, pretending that there isn’t climate change, there’s no environmental climate crisis. And (they believe) if they just ignore it, that it will go away.”

Many of the works in the show draw on social issues, as well as personal experience. “I created these works to understand the essence of pure creativity that comes from heartfelt truth,” Stone said in a statement accompanying the exhibition. “To let go of the noise, the judgments, and the pollution of our societal pulls.”

One painting, “A State of Affairs,” shows a nest of bloody vipers that Stone compared to a patriarchal society that believes it can just “take and take,” whether it be natural resources or political power.

Painting has become a vital form of expression for Stone, who became a ’90s icon thanks to her roles in movies like “Casino” and “Basic Instinct.” The botanical painting, “It’s My Garden, Asshole,” for example, was made for a friend who had struggled to have a baby and suffered a miscarriage before giving birth in her 40s.

When the woman’s father-in-law commented on baby weight she was still carrying a few months later, she was “just devastated,” Stone recalled, adding that she told her friend to stand up to her father-in-law. Stone painted a raw, jaggedly-brushed canvas in her own response. “I was just so mad. I was like a cartoon character,” Stone remembered of the creative process, mimicking tears shooting out of her eyes.