American painter, sculptor and filmmaker, Julian Schnabel (born, 1951) is a recognized name in Hollywood, who has also been a front-runner of ‘Neo-Expressionism.’ He entered the field of art through his first solo exhibition in the year 1975, when painting as an art, was losing its sheen. Schnabel is known for his overly assertive ways of self-promotion, often to the ire of the critics and art admirers. His style of painting is full of brashness, provocation, and raw force of expression. Schnabel’s magnum opus, “The Walk Home,” remains the most significant corroborator of his undisputed authority over the ‘Modern Expressionist’ art.
“The Walk Home” is a large piece, 9’3″ X 19’4″ in dimension, created during 1984-85, and currently put on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Los Angeles. This painting beautifully carries the distinguishing elements of the resurrected art of painting in the form of defiant ‘Abstractionism,’ where the artists refuse to confine their works to pure paints over flat canvas. Actually, “The Walk Home” is an ‘Abstract’ piece of work set in varied media, such as broken pieces of crockery, metals like bronze & copper, pieces of fiberglass, and oil paints, over a base made of wood. This work represents a blend of mosaic, painting, and minor relief work as a revolutionary practice in an otherwise staid art of painting. In line with most of the sects of ‘Modern Art,’ “The Walk Home” also focuses more on the technique of presentation, rather than merely on a thematic expression.
The modern artists dismiss the concept of singleness of the meaning of an artwork and they prefer to keep it open to the different sections of admirers to interpret the meaning their way. The theme of Julian’s “The Walk Home” is believed to be centered on the fable of a king who was attacked by unknown assailants, who hid in waiting, on his way home. Arguably, it indirectly, symbolizes the artist’s resentment against the conventional landscape of art, where each new movement of artistic rendition has tried to cannibalize its previous generation. It further reflects an artist’s befuddlement, amid the haze of the ‘Post-Modernist’ art scenario, in identifying the way back to where they belong. The bold color scheme and thick brush strokes, embodiment of the trapped coarse energy and overflowing emotions over assorted random media, add to the dramatic appeal of the depiction, ranking it as one of the masterpieces of modern creativity.