But few know that Curtis led a second career as an artist beginning in the early 1960s. He often cited Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Balthus as his major influences.""When I paint, I don't paint shapes, I paint colors. The most difficult thing to do is verbalize a painting. When I start painting, I have no idea what I'm going to do. The first color I use--that tells me where the painting is going. It paints itself, and the painting tells me when it's finished. It's almost as if it does it for me," Curtis told the Los Angeles Times in 1989 at an exhibition of his work in Beverly Hills. "I wear my Picasso hat and Matisse shorts and my Arnold Schwarzenegger tank top and I paint!"
Curtis' paintings are featured in galleries around the world, including London, Paris, and New York. One of the highlights of his artistic career came in 2007 when his painting, The Red Table, went on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. You can find a gallery of his artwork here.
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