Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wall of Walken at Aria

Art at Aria by Schnable

I'm in the process of photographing the interior design, restaurants, stores, lounges and layout of the Aria Hotel. I went back there last week to shoot photos of things I missed during Aria's Grand Opening.

While walking past the Union Restaurant I noticed an unusual photo collection hanging on the wall next to The Deuce Lounge. It's an assortment of nine photos of Christopher Walken. I wondered what these odd photos were doing there and figured they might be some sort of advertisement relating to a Chris Walken show or that the photos signified his involvement or ownership in Union or The Duece. Later, I found out the nine photos are simply another art exhibit among the dozens through-out the hotel.

The pieces aren't like typical, everyday, celebrity photos. They go far beyond the average portrait. In fact, the photos looked they might have been run over by a truck, rained on and then left abandoned and thrown into some back-alley dumpster. They definitely evoke feelings and emotions of wonder, curiosity, repulsion or fascination about the subject and artist. And their meaning, like all good art is left to the viewer to create or decipher.

I checked up on the artist's name. Julian Schnabel, born in Brooklyn, New York on October 26, 1951 (two months earlier than me). He's accomplished a lot in his 59 years. He's an artist, writer and film director.

In 1987 he published his autobiography titled 'CVJ: Nicknames of Maitre D's & Other Excerpts From Life'. In 1993 he released an album titled 'Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud'.

In 2007 he was voted the best director at the Cannes Film Festival and also won the Golden Globe for best director, plus received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director.

Quotes attributed to Schnabel are:
"I'm the closest thing to Picasso that you'll see in this #*@!& life"
"[I'm] aiming at an emotional state, a state that people can literally walk into and be engulfed."

This unusual photo-art exhibit is hung on the hallway wall between The Deuce and The Union Restaurant and Bar.

Seven Walken-ish Videos