»The Polaroids are documents of places I built, sculptures I made, people I know, the process of painting. I used the camera as a medium. Because of the camera I had the experience. Anomalies, idiosyncrasies, light leaks and accidents form the character of these photographs – I just happen to press the button.«
The American painter, sculptor and filmmaker has been taking unique photographs for over a decade using a rare twenty by twenty-four inch Polaroid Land camera made in the 1970s. Many of the works are portraits of the artist’s family and friends. These photographs are sketches of Schnabel’s life. There are charismatic portraits of Lou Reed, Plácido Domingo, Mickey Rourke, and Max von Sydow; private rooms in the Palazzo Chupi in New York; his studios in Montauk and Manhattan. Highly personal, poetic images result. Their immediacy and warmth account for much of their magic. These works embody the spontaneous act of trying to take a picture – they are pretty simple in that way. They are images of friendship, of love, of an engaged life, and of melancholy too.
Schnabel took his first Polaroid picture in 2002 with the twenty by twenty-four inch handmade camera. Only six of these cameras are still known to exist. The large-format Polaroid film allows for a wide range of tones and shades that are unrivalled in their nuances.
All Polaroids are offered for sale. The unique prints were taken with a 20x24 inch Polaroid camera and are signed by the artist.