Broken Pieces all Around Town

This is a clever conceit but I remember reading that some of the broken pieces started falling off the board not long after he sold these. A quarter mil. Hope it holds together.

Julian Schnabel
Portrait of Robert Wilson
Oil, found ceramic plates and Bondo on panel
Est: 150,000 – USD 200,000
Sold for $250,000


September 23, 1994

I went out with Amy Peng. She’s just back from Ireland. Golly, she’s pretty. I hope she sleeps with me. [Note: she didn’t.] Her British accent plays to the Anglophile in me. Her family is a bunch of multi-degreed super Brainiacs. She just got her Masters and is in a panic. For the first time her life, there’s no class to attend and she finds herself with an overabundance of free time. The paradox of the overly-educated. She drove us out to the Nassau Coliseum to see Depeche Mode in that little Jeep. She’s a terrible, dangerous driver.

She said she feels trapped because she bought a co-op. I told her she needs to get a grip. Trapped is living in Bayonne and working a job you hate but can’t leave because you’ve got four kids and being married for 15 years, the last five of which have been sheer hell, but you’re psychologically and economically unable to make a move. Owning a co-op in Manhattan with a framed MBA isn’t a trap. I asked her what she’s reading and she showed me some stupid yuppie self-help book. How to cope with the tragedy of success. She asked what I was reading and I told her I’m in the middle of “Babbit.” She’d never heard of Sinclair Lewis. How do you get through graduate school and never hear of Sinclair Lewis?

Oswaldo called and told me I shouldn’t smoke pot because I can’t handle it. Do you know what? He’s right. He said my problem is I smoke everything I have all at once. He said to just take a puff or two. I’ll try that right now and see how it feels.

There. I had exactly two puffs. I’m stoned, but not so stoned that I can’t answer the phone, like last night. My phone rang and I didn’t pick it up. I listened to the answering machine and it was Hedy offering me some homemade soup but I was too high to pick it up so I missed out. I’m sure she thinks I’m weird because we had just spoken an hour before, so she knew I was home.

I called [my niece] to wish her a happy birthday. She’s 8. She asked why I’m not married yet. Everyone back in Ohio is married. I’m certain they all think I’m gay. I wish. That’d be preferable to a catatonic fear of abandonment so severe it causes occasional sexual dysfunction. Being gay sounds pretty sweet compared to that.

Went to the New York Theater Workshop with Cindy, Hedy and Hedy’s sister (also gay). I got comps to see Secretaries by the Five Lesbian Brothers. Everyone on stage and in the audience was gay. It was lesbo-rama! It’s entirely possible I was the lone hetro in the house. The show was hysterical. Lisa Kron is the best.

Ann invited me to some contemporary dance mess at the Joyce. I said I’d go but I can’t stand modern dance. Right after that, Maria Herrera invited me to sit at the Blue Note table at Sweet Basil’s on the same night. I immediately called Ann and canceled. I counter-offered to spend Sunday afternoon at the Met with her to see the big Annenberg Impressionist and Post-Impressionist exhibit and she seemed happy with that. Another paradox.