Schnabel Schrewed by Unschavory Lenders?

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Photo: Getty Images

Heavens! It seems Daily Intel's life partner, Julian Schnabel, along with photographer Annie Leibovitz, has gotten himself caught up with a medieval-sounding organization, Art Capital, that paints itself as a patron of the arts and then takes advantage of artists' lack of financial acumen and delusions of grandeur by lending them money in exchange for a piece of themselves (i.e. they put up their own work as collateral). As Art Capital owner Baird Ryan tells the Times:

"We say, ‘Hey, you’re a bankable asset,’ ” Mr. Ryan said. “So we encumber their own art.”


Schnabel borrowed $8 million from Art Capital back in 2006 to fund the construction of his Gesamtkunstwerk Palazzo Chupi, and though he paid it back, the company is angry because they found out he took a loan from another bank, and now they're trying to charge him, according to the Times, "millions of dollars in additional interest and fees," and may even try to repossess part of the Chupi — which, the Lord and Ingrid Sischy know, would be like pulling one of his legs off or something. Now they're suing each other. We're just glad Art Capital is using the legal system and not actual Renaissance tactics, because if they were, this would probably end with Baird Ryan calling Schnabel in front of a massive throne and commanding, "Dance, fool, dance!" and Schnabel would take two tentative steps and then some minion would crank open a trapdoor underneath him and he'd fall into a den of hungry lions. And that would be a bummer.

That Old Master? It’s at the Pawnshop [NYT]