Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Julian Schnabel in " Polaroids "

Julian Schnabel ( b. 1951) became famous in the 1980s as a vigorously gestural Neo-Expressionist painter. The Hague Museum od Photography is the first museum in the world to present eighty large-format Polaroid photographs that reveal a completely different side of the artist. Between 2002 and 2006, Schnabel photographed his immediate surroundings using a rare, hand-made Polaroid camera dating from the 1970s. The extraordinary thing about this camera is its format: it is the size of a refrigerator and produces instant photos measuring approximately 20 x 24 inches. For years, Schnabel took it with him, recording his family and friends, his work on show in his studios in Montaulk, NY or in his extravagant Manhattan home, the Palazzo Chupi.
The most impressive pictures are the probing self-portraits and the images of family and friends, including Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken and Lou Reed, who allowed themselves to be snapped at intimate moments. Many of the photographs are in black-and-white or sepia, creating a nostalgic, almost romantic atmosphere, recalling the films he has directed, including Basquiat and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

" Traditionally, photography is supposed to capture an event that has passed; but that is not what I'm looking for. Photography brings the past into the present when you look at it ...."

Julian Schnabel, Untitled (Stella), 2007

Self-portrait, 2008
Olmo, 2008
Mickey Rourke, 2008
Takashi Murakami, 2008
Crazy People, 2008
Cy and Olmo, 2004
Montauk Studio, 2004
Palazzo Chupi, 6th floor, NY

All images, courtesy of The Hague Museum of Photography
Julian Schnabel " Polaroids " is currently on view until March 27, 2011

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