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Inside the Mind of Lola Montes Schnabel

When asked about her creative influences, artist and filmmaker Lola Montes Schnabel doesn’t hesitate, reeling off a list of 22 names that ranges from Niki Logis (Schnabel’s professor at Cooper Union, where she earned a BFA in 2008), Brancusi, and Maya Deren to Victor Hugo, Azzadine Alaïa, and, last but not least, Julian Schnabel, her father. The younger Schnabel is continuing the family tradition of multimedia multitasking with stunning results. This evening she’ll debut her most recent paintings–including “The Melting Pot” (2012), the watercolor pictured at left–at the opening of “Within Reach,” an exhibition at Southampton, New York-based Tripoli Gallery‘s Manhattan pop-up space. Schnabel recently took time to answer our questions about her latest series of “glimpses into the struggling subconscious” and the year ahead.

Does your new series of paintings have a particular theme or subject matter?
Yes, they are about limitations, capturing the boundlessness and the infinite spirit in all things that were here before humankind. These are landscapes that are similar to the womb.

Have you seeing your work in other media, particularly film, influence or shape your approach to painting?
Film and any form of poetry has an impact on my paintings. Every idea deserves its own medium. When I have an idea I often wonder which medium would capture that most accurately. The ocean, for instance. The ocean is constantly moving, so if I can’t look at it in real time then the closest thing would be to paint what I see in it–my own version of it–or to film it. I cannot see myself taking photographs of the sea.


“Boundless” (2012)

Finally, besides this exhibition, what are you looking forward to in 2013?
The Kumbh Mela, the largest holy gathering on the planet. It happens every twelve years and is taking place right now through March in Allahbad, India.

“Within Reach” is on view through February 11 at Tripoli Gallery (980 Madison Ave).

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