Julian Schnabel has achieved distinction as both a painter and a filmmaker, first as a star of the 1980s Neo-Expressionist movement and subsequently as a director of critically acclaimed movies about artists and literary figures.
Since his emergence he has been closely identified with his "plate paintings," immense canvases with collaged-on fragments of broken ceramic, and for his paintings on velvet and other fabrics. Although his materials have changed over the years—recent works have incorporated digital prints—he continues to work on a large scale and with a sense of swagger.
Schnabel's art has been shown all over the world, and he has been the subject of numerous retrospectives (including a touring show organized by the Whitney Museum in 1987). His films include Basquiat (1996), Before Night Falls (2000), and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director.