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July 30 2014

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3 posts tagged "Christopher Walken"

A Night With The Psychopaths

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The film Seven Psychopaths is certainly a unique one—a neo-western, achingly funny comedy with about as much gore as the entire Hostel franchise. Director Martin McDonagh told Style.com at the film’s Cinema Society and Hugo Boss-hosted screening in New York last night, “I wanted to explore my love of American cinema and to question our fondness for violence and to question cinematic violence.” And how did he get such a strong ensemble cast? “I knew Colin Farrell from In Bruges. Sam Rockwell and Chris Walken and I did a play a few years ago, and Woody Harrelson I knew from ten years back from the bars of Dublin,” he said at the Chelsea Cinema as cast members including Rockwell, Walken, Michael Pitt, and Abbie Cornish (pictured) made their way down the red carpet. Castmate Amanda Warren revealed of the on-set experience, “They were all so funny, you knew when you were together on set you were going to get a real ab workout.”

Although knee-slapping gore fest Seven Psychopaths is certainly a conversation piece, with the general election just a few weeks away, politics were the topic of the evening at the No.8 after-party a few blocks away, where the cast members were joined by the likes of Gerard Butler, Mariska Hargitay, and Julian Schnabel. Scarlett Johansson, arm in arm with artist Domingo Zapata, received praise for her speech at the Democratic National Convention. “Thank you so much. I was scared,” she admitted. Blythe Danner, taking a break from canvassing in Pennsylvania to support her longtime friend Christopher Walken, sported a Vote for Obama pin. “I almost like politics better than acting,” said Danner.

Photo: Nicholas Hunt / PatrickMcMullan.com

Charlotte Rampling, Christopher Walken, Dree Hemingway: Roommates?

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Photographer Alex Hank (pictured, right) taught himself to paint, brushstroke by brushstroke. Some would hesitate to dive into portraiture with a background like that, but Hank dreamt big. “I made a wish list of people I’d like to paint,” he said at the opening of his new exhibition, Roommates, on Friday night. “That’s the great thing about having nothing to lose. You totally lose your fear about approaching people, however you can.” Hank’s list included the legendary English actress Charlotte Rampling (pictured, left) and Christopher Walken, both of whom, to his slight surprise, he convinced. “That’s the kind of situation most people think happens because you’ve got some connection, or something. But it wasn’t like that at all. I literally just signed up for IMDB Pro—for, like, twenty bucks you can get pretty much any celebrity’s contact info, even if it’s just an ‘info at’-type e-mail address.” (Why Rampling in particular? “In some ways she’s an obvious choice—she’s an icon, right?” he said. “And she knows it.”)

The actress hosted a private dinner in Hank’s honor at the former Dia Center for the Arts space in West Chelsea, where the full set of large-scale paintings is now on display. “I think it’s very personal, it’s very humane, and I think there’s a great spirit in the faces that he paints,” she said. “They come alive more and more as you look at them. It’s fascinating to see all these faces; they should always be together.”

In fact, the name of the exhibition came about because they were all together—at least in painted form. “It started as a joke because a friend of mine lives in the little bedroom in my studio. All of a sudden there was one of these up there, and then another, and they became the roommates,” Hank said, while accepting congratulations from the likes of Dree Hemingway, Gay Talese, Carmen Dell’Orefice, and Zani Gugelmann. Roommate Walken couldn’t make it for the evening’s festivities, but according to the artist, he’d already had a memorable enough experience with him to last a lifetime. “When I wrote the e-mail they said to please give my phone number and expect a call from Mrs. Walken,” he recalled. “My friend that helped me with the show said, ‘Make sure you pick up the phone every single time in case it’s Walken.’ So, of course, I get a call while I was in the bathroom from Mrs. Walken inviting me to their house in Connecticut.” He managed to return the call and make the trip to see the star. His impressions? “Walken is Walken,” he said. “I will remember that moment until the day that I die.”

Roommates is open through March 25 at the former Dia Center for the Arts, 548 W. 22nd St., NYC.

Photo: Joe Schildhorn / BFAnyc.com

At DVF: From Wall Street To Walken

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Visitors to the New York Stock Exchange probably wouldn’t assume that, among the horde of red-faced traders on the floor, there was an aspiring painter or two. Well, consider John W. Codling, and think again. Codling didn’t work on the trading floor itself, but as the head of his own institutional brokerage, he had front-row seats to the last year’s financial meltdown. “When you work on Wall Street, you’re used to a certain level of intensity,” Codling says. “But after the crash, I mean, that was a whole other level. And it wasn’t like you could go home and zone out watching TV, because everyone on television was talking about the economy.” As a means of therapy, Codling turned to art—a pastime he had last indulged back in grade school.

For reasons that are a little obscure, even to him, he began painting images of Christopher Walken, and tonight, he opens Sundays With Chris, a show of that work, at Diane von Furstenberg’s gallery on West 14th Street. “He’s just an amazing character,” Codling said, when pressed on his choice of subject. “Christopher Walken could read a brownie recipe and it would be entertaining. If I’d been painting trees, I wouldn’t have gotten as much out of it.” All told, Codling has painted 57 Walken images—which averages out to about a canvas a week since the fall of Lehman Brothers. Sales of the paintings will benefit Team Continuum, a nonprofit organization assisting cancer patients and their families. In other words, painting is not yet Codling’s full-time job. “Nah, I’m still working on Wall Street,” he says. “I’ve got no big plans to become a starving artist.” The show opens to the public tomorrow.

John W. Codling: Sundays With Chris at DVF Gallery, 440 West 14th St., NYC, October 23 to November 1