Friday, October 29, 2010

Julian Schnabel

This picture was taken at the height of Schnabel's fame as a painter; 1986, I think. Although we spoke on the telephone a couple of times after the sitting, we lost touch. I gave him a print of the photograph and he said that he thought he looked a bit fat.

Four or five years ago, Caroline and I walked into the stage door of Town Hall after a concert given by our friend Richard Butler. On the way in, a large, slightly dishevelled, bearded man, distinguished looking nevertheless, said good evening to me. I did not know who he was and left it at that; and after he said good evening again, this time adding my name, I started to worry that he was somebody I should know. But I could not for one moment think who it was. I asked Annie, Richard's wife at the time, and she said, "That's Julian Schnabel." I went up to him, put my arm around his shoulder and apologized. "It was the beard that fooled me," I said.

He was polite, but I knew he was offended. Like Orson Welles, though, I think he would be good in his own movies. He had matured into a very impressive looking man, far more impressive than the youngish one I had photographed twenty years earlier.

1 comment:

  1. Great anecdote! I was just going to say that if he thought himself overweight earlier, imagine what he would think of your photo now. Too bad he seemed offended (ashamed probably more), it would have been great if you and Caroline were invited to Palazzo Chupi for more photos!

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