Julian Schnabel (born October 26, 1951) is an American painter and filmmaker.In the 1980s, Schnabel received international media attention for his "plate paintings"—large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates. After graduating, he sent an application to the Independent Study Program (ISP) at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.Schnabel directed Before Night Falls, which became Javier Bardem's breakthrough Academy Award-nominated role, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which was nominated for four Academy Awards. His application included slides of his work sandwiched between two pieces of bread. Schnabel worked as a short-order cook and frequented Max's Kansas City, a restaurant-nightclub, while he worked on his art.

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Also famous are his works dedicated to people like Antonio Molina Art critic Robert Hughes was one of the most outspoken critics of his work: he once stated that "Schnabel's work is to painting what Stallone's is to acting: a lurching display of oily pectorals." (Time magazine, August 7, 2012.) His works are in the collections of various museums throughout the world, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Reina Sofia in Madrid; Tate Modern in London and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Schnabel had an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, which ran from September 1, 2010 to January 2, 2011 and occupied the entirety of the gallery's fifth floor.

It examined "the rich interplay between Schnabel's paintings and films".

Over the years, Schnabel traveled frequently to Europe, where he was enormously impressed by the work of Antoni Gaudi, Cy Twombly and Joseph Beuys.

It was with his first solo show, at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979, that Schnabel became known.

He participated at the Venice Biennale in 1980, and by the mid-1980s had become a major figure in the Neo-expressionism movement.By the time he exhibited his work in a show jointly organized by Boone and Leo Castelli in 1981, he had become firmly established.His now famous "plate paintings"—large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates—received a boisterous and critical reception from the art world.A reputation for making brash pronouncements about his importance to the art world - I'm the closest thing to Picasso that you'll see in this fucking life - engendered contempt from both colleagues and the viewing public.Schnabel's signature works contain an underlying edge of brutality, while remaining 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.