Video: Julian Schnabel "In the Course of Seven Days"

This is such a well done snapshot of an artist. Julian Schnabel has captured my idea of a perfect studio space - open air and tropical with plenty of room to experiment. Favorite quote, "And maybe poetry was something that [God] left out and he left that for humans to do." If you are lacking inspiration and feeling bogged down, this video will kick the rust off.

An intimate portrait of the controversial artist and film director, Julian Schnabel, whose hybrid approach to painting keeps him at the forefront of the contemporary art scene.

Andy Warhol & the Power of Intuition

Mario Suriani, Associated Press Photo

Mario Suriani, Associated Press Photo

During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don’t think they’ve ever remembered.
I am a deeply superficial person
And I just hate the Trumps because they never bought my Trump Tower portraits. And I also hate them because the cabs on the upper level of their ugly Hyatt Hotel just back up traffic so badly around Grand Central now and it takes me so long to get home.
— Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol is not remembered as a sensitive artist. I believe that he made a conscious decision to hide behind an armor of apathy. Reading his quotes, Warhol makes it sound like he craps out easy art for the selfish purpose of fame, fortune, and notoriety. But if you imagine the wigs, glasses, omnipresent cameras, and aloof wonderment as a protective tortoise shell for a gentle soul, Andy Warhol becomes something entirely different. Warhol was a master printer and even taught Robert Rauschenberg how to screenprint but he acted like he was a detached Henry Ford type figure, only interested in cranking out flat, vapid duplicates. If you see his work in a book, you might think it is a) plagiarism and b) just the same thing over and over.

Upon closer inspection, repetition is where Andy's brilliance shone brightest - he would take a well known image, make it his own, and then iterate - making experimental alterations every single time. One of my favorite bodies of work is his Death and Disaster series - it included race riots, car accidents, and electric chairs. It reflects a society more fixated on violent imagery and salacious headlines than human mortality - and the work only becomes more interesting with the modern 24 hour news cycle and the internet. The variation of the prints also plays with the distorting power of perception and interpretation.

Finally, to highlight Warhol's masterful precognitive abilities, take a few moments to closely investigate the details of this screenprint of O.J. Simpson from 1977.

Process: Preparing a Reference Photograph

A great deal of my paintings are based on Cartes de Visite (CdV) from the 19th Century - the easiest way of thinking of these is Victorian trading cards, thin photographs mounted on something akin to illustration or mat board. CdVs were handed out like business cards and served as an early incarnation of social media. There were sometimes adornments like calligraphed signatures, foil stamps, or gold edges. The subjects look stoic and expertly coifed - a contrast to the current overabundance of casually snapped smartphone selfies. I roam around online until I locate a CdV that grabs my attention and then do some work in Photoshop, preparing the image for projection, pencil drawing transfer, and then painting.  Here's a quick glimpse at the Photoshop manipulation. The changes are subtle but I am always focused on eliminating unnecessary details without losing anything that anchors the portrait or skews it too far into abstraction.