cultural capital

Julian Schnabel Is Numero Uno!


Photo: Getty Images

So this weekend we finally read Andrew Corsello’s profile of Julian Schnabel in the current issue of GQ, in which the two gigantic personalities ride around the Hamptons in La Schnabe’s newly purchased 1975 Eldorado, eating and farting and picking at themselves. Other than not being online, much is wonderful about the piece, but our favorite part is the description of Schnabel’s tubby magnificence, which we’ve faithfully, and perhaps illegally, transcribed for your pleasure:

I only now register the absurdity of what he’s wearing: Slippers, a blue-and-gray checked wraparound skirt that may or may not be a old tablecloth, and a grubby white vest, unbuttoned, that may or may not be Naugahyde and may or may not have been part of a three-piece suit worn by Don Johnson in a Miami Vice episode. His belly, ample, ruddy with sun, parts and displaces the flaps of the vest so that they hang to the sides, putting on glorious display the salt-and-pepper Afghans that are his chest and back hair. Look at him, the bear on the outside and the satyr on the inside. Is this a man capable of making a movie with the word butterfly in the title? The look of a man capable of making a movie as powerful as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly — powerful not only in the sense of exalted emotions, but in the way it takes your assumptions about what movies are for, assumptions so fundamental you aren’t even aware you have them, and turns them inside out? No. This is the look of a man living off the dregs of a modest fortune made in the 1970s publishing a magazine called Heavy Shaggin’

The tablecloth skirt, the vest, the Buddha belly, the yacht-sized Caddy, it’s all too much. But nothing is ever too much for a man like Schnabel; he reaches into the glove compartment, pulls out a ludicrous slab of bling, and dons it with great solemnity. There it sits upon the frontal Afghan as he drives, nearly spanning the nipples, a giant #1 necklace studded with plastic diamonds and rimmed in fake gold.

And then:

Schnabel hikes up the tablecloth — and which point it becomes apparent that he might not be wearing any underwear — shoves a hairy fist between his thighs and begins to pick.


The left hand is braced against the steering wheel. His eyes are between his legs, where he’s corkscrewing his right thumbnail furiously into the soft flesh, pale as a fish’s belly.

Corsello’s conclusion about this “fat, famous, hairy, rich, name-dropping blowhard”? He’s “freaking wonderful.”

We totally agree.

The Insatiable Julian Schnabel [GQ, print only]
Related: Julian Schnabel’s Vie En Rose [NYM]
All posts regarding Daily Intel’s chubby-chasin’ love for the Schnabe

Julian Schnabel Is Numero Uno!