A Danish poet named Søren Ulrik Thompsen once said that art is mysterious and keeps secrets, even from the artist himself.

I think Julian’s art is very mysterious and to me, a big part of trying to understand the level of beauty in his work is analyzing it and finding all the hidden images and messages that appear to always be there in the way they are painted.

I noticed a red dot in a Jane Birkin painting he made in 1990 that looked like the red dot in a painting of me called May 45 Minutes from Copenhagen. I feel that all his works are so different in appearance yet I repeatedly seem to find a mark, a shape or a line that is the continuous thread of his touch.

Besides the portraits of other family members and friends, most of the paintings in this catalogue were inspired by a trip we went on starting in Denmark where I was visiting family. Julian came to meet me and I wanted to show him the charm of the country side south of Copenhagen.

A large part of Denmark is made up of little islands and we passed a few of them on our way to an Inn. I believe the landscape painting in this show is very much inspired by what we saw on our way down there.

After that we went to my little summerhouse at the north shore of Copenhagen, where he worked in the backyard and created four plate paintings without assistants and in harsh weather conditions.

We made a dinner for my birthday, friends and family came to eat and look at the paintings. While  making his famous tomato sauce and entertaining my mother he made subtle changes to the pictures and with every little mark I saw them come alive and  become who they are.

He finds beauty in the discarded, the imperfect. He looked through my kitchen and found a porcelain fairy princess, one of those with magnets on their backs that you stick on your fridge. At some point she fell down and broke her wing. I don’t know why I kept her all those years, maybe I was hoping that someone could one day save her. Make her  immortal. I guess she meant a lot to me.

May Andersen
Copenhagen, June 19th 2012

http://www.julianschnabel.com/exhibitions/guy-pieters-gallery-knokke-kustlaan-2012

http://www.guypietersgallery.com/en/exposition/212228/knokke-kustlaan/plate-paintings