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Michael K. Williams Featured as Warrior in Chaz Guest’s NY Show – The Hollywood Reporter

A new year has brought two new projects starring the late Michael K. Williams.

The beloved actor passed away in September at the age of 54, starring alongside John Boyega in Abi Damaris Corbin’s 892 screened within this month’s Sundance (virtual) Film Festival. On January 22, at the Vito Schnabel Gallery on Clarkson Street in New York, Williams debuted in an exhibition by artist Chaz Guest Memories of Warriors. The performance marked the first solo outing to New York in more than two decades for Guest from LA, a renowned painter and innovator whose work has been featured by the Obamas, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant, and Angelina Jolie acquired.

Schnabel told The Hollywood Reporter whom he has known Guest for almost a decade and has always been a fan of his work. They have been in talks for the past few years about a collaboration, and Schnabel says he was particularly intrigued a few years back by a large-scale work he came across. “I asked if he would continue that series of work or if he had more ideas on that scale with this topic,” recalls Schnabel. Guests continued the works, and they decided to present eight portraits that, according to each gallery, “depict dangerous military action scenes – portraits and combat paintings – recreating the story of the Heroes.” Buffalo soldier.”

This unit was the Army’s first African-American regiment, formed in 1866 after the Civil War. Guest, who also used soldiers as inspiration for a graphic novel, combined the novel and the paintings for a deal with Eric Paquette at his Meridian Pictures, where he would develop story into a feature film. In the months before his death, Williams assumed the position of Guest and their collaboration resulted in works titled Michael K. Soldier and Alone night.

“Paintings stand the test of time, and the fact that they represent Michael in this moment in time is a wonderful way to honor him, his life and the work he has done,” says Schnabel. The way he is described is heroic, just like him. I can feel the love Chaz has for him through the pictures. It’s a beautiful sentiment.”

Chaz Guest: Memories of Warriors will be on view at the Vito Schnabel Gallery through March 19.

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Michael K. Williams in Michael K. Soldier.
Chaz Guest / Courtesy of Vito Schnabel . Gallery

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Michael K. Williams in Alone night.
Chaz Guest / Courtesy of Vito Schnabel . Gallery

A version of this story first appeared in the January 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

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