standing male figure wearing dark colored clothing with vertical blue irregular stripes on pants; man has dark hair with receding hairline and small goatee; painterly color swaths in background in brown, green, yellow and blue; white vertical painterly line to right of figure; irregularly applied, dripping shiny clear resin over image

© 1998 Julian Schnabel %2F Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C New York

José Luis Ferrer, 1998

Not on Viewexpand_more

The subject of Schnabel’s print is Spanish actor and filmmaker José Luis Ferrer, a close friend of the artist. Part of a series of three portraits Schnabel made of fellow creative professionals, the portrayal is essentially a psychological consideration of Ferrer, who is depicted standing at the center of an ambiguous pictorial space, wearing a dark, cleric-like robe and collar. Ferrer stares directly at the viewer, with an alert but solemn expression. His feet and left hand are unseen. Is this a portrait of a holy man' A prophet' A sage' To the right of the Ferrer, a flowing, jagged wedge of white runs from the top of the composition to its bottom edge, visually competing with the standing figure. Other colors drip and flow across the background, including several areas of poured translucent resin, a viscous fluid that hardens to a solid over time. With this, Schnabel introduces chance and transience into the work. The portrait is a scene of uncertainty, of mystery, and of an undefined melancholy. Though charged with emotion, its ultimate meaning is left for the viewer to determine.

Details
Title
José Luis Ferrer
Artist Life
American, born 1951
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2016.122.7
Provenance
(Thomas Smith Fine Art, Fort Wayne, Ind., sold to Mersky, 1999); Robert B. Mersky, Minneapolis, 1999-2016
Curator Approved

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standing male figure wearing dark colored clothing with vertical blue irregular stripes on pants; man has dark hair with receding hairline and small goatee; painterly color swaths in background in brown, green, yellow and blue; white vertical painterly line to right of figure; irregularly applied, dripping shiny clear resin over image

© 1998 Julian Schnabel / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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