Julian Schnabel (born 26 October 1951) is a 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.
He received his B.F.A. at the University of Houston. After graduating, he sent an application to the independent study program at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His application included slides of his work sandwiched between two pieces of bread; he was promptly accepted. Struggling in the art world, Schnabel worked as a short-order cook and frequented Max's Kansas City, a restaurant-nightclub, while he worked on his art. In 1975, Schnabel had his first solo show at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Over the next few years he traveled frequently to Europe, where he was enormously impressed by the work of Antoni Gaudi, Cy Twombly and Joseph Beuys.
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 more well 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.
I used to go up to read to Fred Hughes, Andy Warhol’s business partner, who had multiple sclerosis. And as Fred got worse, he ended up locked inside his body. I had been thinking that I might make a movie about Fred when his nurse, Darren McCormick, gave me Bauby’s memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Then, in 2003, when my father was dying, the script arrived from Kennedy. So it didn’t feel quite like taking on a commissioned job.
He also has twin sons, Cy and Olmo, by his second wife, Spanish Basque actress and model Olatz López Garmendia. Garmendia appeared in Before Night Falls, and is also to be seen in The Diving Bell, as Bauby's physical therapist. Schnabel is fluent in Spanish.
Lifting the lid on the Diving Bell The death of director Julian Schnabel's father gave his new film a personal resonance, writes Evan Fanning.
Feb 10, 2008; Lifting the lid on the Diving Bell The death of director Julian Schnabel's father gave his new film a personal resonance, writes...
Julian Schnabel: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Tackling a tough subject, and making it work.(DIRECTOR'S CHAIR)(Interview)
Dec 01, 2007; HOLLYWOOD -- With his third film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, director and artist Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, Before Night...