Schnabel & Dafoe already had me so utterly fucked with even the IDEA Of them working together that I hadn’t allowed myself to see the trailer until today. I was fuckedeven (there IS no other word in this instance!lol) watching the CBS interview of them both over a month ago.
…and now I’m just like-
“Are you KIDDING ME?! You have Oscar Isaac -the dude that IS GC’s THYAZ- playing MY F ureakin Gauguin with Our Dafoe as Our Van Gogh?! Dear God! I can’t go see this in public! Ugly cries All ova tha place! Ugly cries will be everywhere!!”
…Breaking blue and white plates all over in my mind, utterly, ecstatically undone…
…then, as MELLOW(&bemused) as God always is at the crescendo of my inner theatrics(punctuated by more plates aesthetically crashing to canvases nailed to spiritual floors lol), God murmurs “um…why don’t you just look down your channels to see when you’ll be able to watch it alone At home? Lol”
I look around at the Most High, bewildered as the concept sinks in. Then I scramble to outposts, sifting signs on the wind. And I find it!
” I can already BUY it down one avenue!” I roar-
“Simmer down and dig deeper~”God yawns, still grinning.
When I fuss, he ignores my “but I can own it!”protests and spins me to my other set of binoculars pointed cybernetically skyward, chuckling. Down my other channel the announcement lilts across the screen.
“Available to rent in 36 hours.”
I almost faint lol.
“…It may break your heart. If you want to buy it After you see it, fine. But rent It first.”
The Word of God. Lol.
Logos is a trip.
As for “…why so…um…”…what the hell?!”
Schnabel being the gruff, pajamas allatime artist he is, making transcendent movies whenever the fuck he wants? An early proof of life. Relating to the potent possibilities inherent in artistic ambidextrous abilities. In the midst of infantile shapeshifts. For me.
“Pick up any medium and geist the fuck Out of it. The Geist is the point.”
The motherfucker painted…with Plates. Because his Geist felt like it.
[That’s for those who didn’t know wtf the above antics reffed lol. Go check’em out lol].
The point is…
Whole bunch of shit supposedly isn’t possible until you’re out there doing it.
So get the fuck out there.
Until 2006, years after design had been walked away from, already collaging and showing, I still considered myself an illustrator/designer with the audacity to write.
I worked in a place called T Salon, run by a crazy, badassed maven who devoured the souls of everyone around her BUt me. This is said affectionately lol. The Only thing that calmed her when she went ballistic was sitting in her office under this broken plate painting and chilling the fuck out.
I was feeling the first pulls of “GET away and write and paint- Now!” But it made no sense to me. I didn’t paint outside of gouache & markers. Hadn’t since high school. My illustrations at that time were ALL portraits of caracs from grievechronic, trying to tie down their features. I’d met and now absently had Susan Sollins of ART21 as a regular, no idea what she really did even as she did it to me, which was gently prod me towards the arthead leap she somehow saw coming.
The day the Maven exploded on me, I exploded right back, decades younger but as wild eyed as her, facing off under that picture of fn plates. The truce was made under it too, like IT was a guardian brokering my safe passage with this particular wild woman crone.
My exodus announcement, too.
I knew Schnabel from Basquiat & being the head that birthed the interiors of my favorite nyc hotels, absently that he was a painter. I found out as I was leaving that the painting was his, her on the phone with him. They’d been friends forever.
And WE make the connections, the story in reverse, able to see better.
I know for a fact that in 1996 I Had to find a way to transfer to NYC after Basquiat. Not to “be” an “Artist,” but to fully step into Me. & that I could be strategic. That THAT was allowed. That’s what his movie gave me. Artists being conscious & strategic? We went into design for that, for structure, unless we were Warhol warblers. But Schnabel showed Basquiat as strategic as fuck, unabashedly. Only another bona fide artist would know how to elegantly capture that for the kids coming up, would know it was necessary.
In hindsight, in 2006, the protection of those plates while I was incubating alongside actually the only female elder artist I’d ever known at that time is glaringly apparent. Because that’s what she was. A bona fide artist in her own wild right, a former perfume nose who decided She wanted to paint across palettes with tea. 90% of NYC’s artisanal tea and restaurant scene is utterly indebted to Novalle. She was pulling off astounding feats in Soho before it became Soho. And was a wild businesswoman. A fucking Cowboy.
I never met Schnabel. No need to. But her -being unapologetically the way she was- calling That energy her friend stuck with me. Because she didn’t have many (We never do, really).
…The day I sat down with my first pile of cardboard up in Harlem, drawing my first self portrait in more than 15 years…Schnabel was there. In the air lol.
Why do I say that?
…Because I peered at the finished drawing and heard “Paint it.”
And I snort laughed and said “…With what? Plates?lol… I don’t paint-” as I peered at the board awkwardly. I was nervous. Naked by knowing something else was coming.
“Yes you do, smartass lol. We’re going downtown-”
“Took” me to Utrecht in my old hood… And I savant-filled a basket with acryls, instantly hit with how to animate it. And kid you not, every treasure trove of paint I acquired Schnabel was there Mastermind crew style alongside me.
Was it “imaginary?”
But it worked lol.
That entire show REPATRIATED, the Homecoming that went up the summer of 2007 while writing Erebus happened deciding to believe Schnabel’s arthead crew had my back, ethereally speaking.
I paid rent and spent $30 a week on groceries, with a sep cushion for good cheese, cheap shiraz, baguettes, Balthazar & an ooccasional latte at the one spot I could write in uptown. And i Had to walk to all of it if I wanted it lol. I was just painting the story out of me between cooking and writing jags, in bikinis in the middle of winter, heat cranked up because it was free, guilelessly because it could’ve just as easily been pajamas lol.
That entire battle in the grove that goes down in Exist? Spirits of Cornell & Schnabel were in that studio like “What the fuck?!lol.”
36 paintings later the owner of that cafe in Harlem saw a screensaver of one of my collages spooling and offered his walls on the spot. I went home pensive, looking around at the paintings leaned up against the walls. Schnabel-stique shoved me.
“You showed the collages in Soho & Noho. Show THESE~punkass lol.”
The owner saw a snap the next day and was like “As you wish.”
A gallerist came into that gilded cardboard child’s destroyed temple show and offered me a slot in a group show… Which led to my exodus from New York with art-arrows in tow and the development/Manifestation of AOLAB on the road.
THIS… Was supposed to be “gaaaaah, gotta see the movie!”
But with the collection of work currently writhing across my walls out in the woods, gaining passage to this realm as I write, this post is showing me That this Schnabel movie may shape up to be signpost another crossroads…that in 36 hours I’ll be ready for.
…In the meantime, here’s to writhing walls!