It’s not every Saturday that you glance up from your brunch menu to see an enraged Julian Schnabel charging your table. But that’s exactly happened to me and a friend at the restaurant Wallsé this past weekend.
As we were busy persusing the menu, we were suddenly rushed by a bearlike man wearing a blazer and a bright blue knee-length caftan. He gestured towards my companion’s dining chair, which had, unbeknownst to us, been scratching up against a wall-sized, monochromatic painting hanging behind it.
“That’s ruining my painting!” he bellowed, as we rose and dutifully shifted our table away from the artwork. “It’s not your fault,” the aging enfant terrible continued, “it’s this restaurant’s!” Then he threatened to remove his paintings if they didn’t get more respect.
Our shaken server told us later that Schnabel, who lives just a block away, loans Wallsé much of its art—he’s friends with its chef and owner, Kurt Gutenbrunner. The painting in question was not actually painted by Schnabel, although the artist’s own canvases also adorn the restaurant. While Schnabs was visibly perturbed about his painting, at least he got VIP treatment: he and his companion were served long before the spatzle and bratwurst made it to our table.
Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage.com