The man in the suit is holding a huge severed head by the hair. Crimson gore drools from its neck. The victim’s eyes are closed, though he doesn’t look quite dead enough for a man who has apparently been blasted through the forehead before being decapitated. Like Rasputin, he’s not so easily killed off.
The picture is vast, bombastic and entirely derivative. Julian Schnabel‘s David and Goliath (2011) is a modern variation on an old tradition in which the artist portrays himself as a bloody corpse. Caravaggio did it, appearing as Goliath in a devastating vision of guilt and death; Edvard Munch did it several times, ever the victim, casting an ex-lover as the murderess. And now Schnabel (borrowing palette, idea and all from Munch) casts his ex-dealer Leo Castelli as the suited assassin and himself as the big