I watched a small film of Julian Schnabel working on a series of huge canvas's recently. Schnabel was one of the art stars that came into the forefront while I was at RISD . I saw a couple of exhibitions in New York during the mid 1980's, his broken china painting. I never could really relate to his work. In this film he talks about mark making and freedom and relating to what is already on the canvas-- looked like the canvas's were already loaded with huge silk screened images. It was a bit of a circus watching the "Master" given long brushes by his assistants, while he performed for the camera.
This idea of reacting to what is already on the canvas, is interesting, its part of the process of all art making. For me its more like a chess game, for Schnabel he seems to be in such thrall of this process that for me his work never achieves transcendence. To be fair this may not be his aim, he's so busy reacting, he never really takes it to the level of transformation. Truly there is room for all under the art umbrella, I just wished I saw more substance, less grandstanding in his work. Methinks the emperor has no clothes, I did like his movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" however , so not all is lost and I would go see a show of his if only to marvel at the scale.
I have been suffering some ill health for the last couple of months, the piece below took a while and I just finished it, not completely sure how I feel about it.