The Ruffian

Julian Schnabel.

Posted in Uncategorized by The Ruffian on January 26, 2009

I am a very big fan of Julian Schnabel, American artist and filmmaker.

Julian Schnabel (born October 26, 1951) is an American artist and filmmaker. He has been acclaimed at Cannes and has won a Golden Globe, as well as BAFTA, César Award, Golden Palm and two nominations for the Golden Lion and an Academy Award nomination. He has directed four films which were widely acclaimed, including Before Night Falls, which became Javier Bardem’s breakthrough Academy Award nominated role, and the four-time Academy Award nominated The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He is the interior decorator of the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City.

In addition to his work as an artist, Schnabel has written and directed the films Basquiat, a biopic on the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat (1996), and Before Night Falls (2000), an adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas’ autobiographical novel, which he also produced. He directed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), an adaptation (with a screenplay by Ronald Harwood) of a French memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly earned him the award for best director at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globe for best director, the Independent Spirit Award for best director, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director. Schnabel, who designed Lou Reed’s critically acclaimed ‘Berlin’ Tour in 2007, also released ‘Berlin the Movie’ (http://www.berlinthefilm.com/). Despite the fact that producing The Diving Bell and the Butterfly might seem like a commission to do someone else’s work, Schnabel took on the film. According to Schnabel,It was with his first solo show, at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979, however, that Schnabel would truly come to be regarded as a major new force in the art world. He participated at the Venice Biennale in 1980, and by the mid-1980s had become a major figure in the Neo-expressionism movement. By the time he exhibited his work in a show jointly organized by Boone and Leo Castelli in 1981, he had become firmly established. His now famous “plate paintings”—large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates—received a boisterous and critical reception from the art world. A reputation for making brash pronouncements about his importance to the art world ( “I’m the closest thing to Picasso that you’ll see in this *#@ life”) engendered contempt from both colleagues and the viewing public. What was beyond doubt, however, was the vibrancy that Schnabel brought to the art scene. Using Kabuki theatre sets, velvet and animal hides, Schnabel’s bold, somewhat confrontational style recalled the energy and daring of Picasso and Pollock.

Schnabel’s signature works contain an underlying edge of brutality, while remained suffused with compositional energy. Schnabel claims that he’s “aiming at an emotional state, a state that people can literally walk into and be engulfed.”

Schnabel insists he is a painter first and foremost, though he is better known for his films.

“Painting is like breathing to me. It’s what I do all the time. Every day I make art, whether it is painting, writing or making a movie.”

Source, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Schnabel

Here are two of my favorite scenes in his movies, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” + “Basquiat.”

The glacier sequence in, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” is once of my favorites.

As is the dream sequence in, “Basquiat.”

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