Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When art goes to the movies 1

When Oliver Stone started shooting Wall Street in April 1987, he “called on friends, called on collectors to put the best paintings on the walls to evoke the era.” His friend Julian Schnabel, who published his autobiography CVJ: Nicknames of Maitre’Ds and Other Excerpts from Life the same year, acted as advisor to the film. One of his portraits on broken plates is featured in the expensive apartment purchased by young stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) and decorated by Darien Taylor (Daryl Hannah). It was also the year Time magazine’s critic Robert Hughes wrote 'Schnabel is to painting, what Stallone is to acting - a lurching display of oily pectorals - except that Schnabel makes bigger public claims for himself.' Schnabel doesn’t appear in the Stone film but artist James Rosenquist makes a brief appearance at an auction where his work is purchased by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) for $2.1 million. It is a spectacularly high price for a ‘normal-sized’ Rosenquist, considering that his mural-sized F1-11, (the largest painting - about 26 metres long and 3 meters high- to be sold at auction up to that time, and a record for the artist) sold at auction for $2.09 million in 1986, a year later than the date the movie is set in. As Darien Taylor says to Bud Fox, “Gordon is one of the most astute collectors around. He has a great eye and he only buys the best.” Artists whose works also make brief appearances include Jim Dine and John Chamberlain. Other art scene people to appear are Christopher Burge, Sotheby's legendary auctioneer, who gets the remarkable price for the Rosenquist, and dealer Richard Feigen whose book Tales from the Art Crypt: The Painters, the Museums, the Curators, the Collectors, the Auctions, the Art caused a brief flurry in 2000, the year it was published.
Images: Top left, Christopher Burge calls for $2.1 million for the James Rosenquist painting on display to the left of the image, right Gordon Gekko makes his final bid. Middle left, A Julian Schnabel plate painting is hung in Bud Fox’s apartment, right the Schnabel painting, this time resting on the floor between Budd and Darien. Bottom left, a couple of John Chamberlain sculptures at Gordon Gekko’s beach house, right Pop artist James Rosenquist, on the right, makes a guest appearance at the auction.