She Mistook Kindness for Weakness (SMKFW)
American, born 1951
Laden with personal symbols and obscure historical references, She Mistook Kindness for Weakness belongs to a series of paintings on velvet Schnabel made in the mid- to-late 1980s. His use of black velvet evokes the popular vernacular form of painting on velvet sold to tourists in Mexican border towns, including Brownsville, Texas, Schnabel’s hometown. The thick paint on soft velvet has an aura of decadent sensuality to it. The painting is inscribed with the title’s acronym, SMKFW. Although cryptic, the title—like the stuffed rabbit depicted—seems menacing.