Leelee Sobieski had a very enviable career in Hollywood with hit films year after year.
The New York native – born Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta ‘Leelee’ Sobieski – worked with all the hot leading men in the film business including Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut, Josh Hartnett in Heaven On Earth and Paul Walker on Joy Ride.
But 11 years ago the blonde beauty – who is now 38-years-old – left it all for a career as a painter. Her impressive Night Ride exhibition is currently on display in Shanghai until June 25.
Star power: Leelee Sobieski had a very enviable career in Hollywood with hit films year after year. The New York native – born Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta ‘Leelee’ Sobieski – worked with all the hot leading men in the film business including Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut, Josh Hartnett in Heaven on Earth (pictured) and Paul Walker on Joy Ride
She has also had shows in Aspen and Paris, and sells regularly on Sothebys.
According to a 2018 MutualArt article, her art work can sell for up to $37,500 but has likely climbed higher in recent years.
The beauty, who goes by Leelee Kimmel after marrying fashion designer Adam Kimmel in 2010, shows off her paintings on Instagram.
Her background screams art: She majored in visual arts at Brown University and her father Jean Sobieski, is a famous painter.
‘I thought that because of my past, my work would be judged harshly,’ Leelee admitted to artnet News in 2018.
Great work: But 11 years ago the blonde beauty – who is now 38-years-old – left it all for a career as a painter. Her Night Ride exhibition is currently on display in Shanghai until June 25
Still quite the stunner: The artist attended the New Museum 2019 Spring Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in 2019 in New York City
‘I had to make sure that if everybody really hated them, I would still feel good about it. This is really what’s inside of me, and I’m not trying to be anybody else.… It was almost like coming out of the closet or something!’ she added.
The star also shared: ‘I kept working fervently in secret. Painting was always my goal; I just kept getting distracted with work things and paying bills.’
She does not act anymore but paints full time as she raised her two children Louisiana and Martin.
A smash hit: The beauty with costar Elijah Wood in the 1998 disaster movie Deep Impact
A small but impactful scene: She also wore lingerie to appear in the Tom Cruise movie Eyes Wide Shut in 1999 from director Stanley Kubrick
So much love here: And she is seen here with Chris Klein in Heaven On Earth in 2000
Her last movie was made when she was 27.
But Leelee does not regret working as an actress in her young years.
‘I had a really happy childhood, and had a lot of fun, and did some work that I feel good about. I feel blessed I was able to have these experiences that seem to other people to be very desirable,’ she said.
‘In my paintings there’s a lot about energy and vibrations and the whole world being connected,’ Kimmel explained, contrasting that sense of control to the experience of being on a film set. “If you’re on a crew and 150 people are pushing for you to fall in love with somebody else, everybody is rooting for it. That’s the energy of a lot of people, but it’s fake.’
Another big movie: In the thriller film The Glass House in 2001 with Trevor Mogan
And unlike acting, painting gives her real experiences.
‘Actors end up going from one role to another with all this energy behind them, and you just become emptier and emptier and emptier—you end up having no real experiences,’ she shared.
‘To cry, you end up drawing on the experiences of another character you played.’
She certainly had on screen charisma: And in 2002 she came out in the film Joy Ride
And she does not want to star in romances: ‘I don’t want my children to look at Netflix and see me on screen in the arms of someone who’s not their dad.’
Kimmel makes assertively abstract paintings, and yet nevertheless her work engages in a playful yet conceptually investigative manner with issues of ‘hidden,’ surreptitious, or cryptic representation, according to Almine Rech.
‘She is committed to the formal adventure of abstraction, but abjures any comforting illusions about purity or purgative “rigor.” Kimmel works in painting, sculpture and virtual reality.
She had some very serious parts too: In the 1999 film Joan of Arc as Joan D’Arc
‘Her paintings have been exploring themes of creation and destruction. Personal signage popping off of and invading the canvas in multilayered oil, oil stick and acrylic.
‘It’s the macro and the micro, the human soul, spy vs spy,’ it was added on the Rech website.
In her last Instagram post from Thursday she shared an image of a big canvas. ‘Night Rider, 76 x 108 inches, 2020-2021, Oil, Oil stick and Acrylic on canvas,’ she wrote in her caption.
A good match: The painter seen with her fashion designer husband Adam Kimmel at the HBO screening of Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present at MoMA in NYC in 2012