February 9th, 2013

On trading in for a better model

Julian Schnabel, 61, definitely must have something pretty special.

He’s an artist and filmmaker, and both endeavors have been so successful that they’ve also led to extraordinary wealth. Beautiful women are drawn to him like flies to honey (or perhaps, in the end, moths to the flame).

If you don’t believe me, take a look. I don’t have any photos of his first wife (and the mother of his oldest three children), Belgian clothing designer Jacqueline Beaurang, when she was young. But here she is at 54:


Next up is wife number two, French actress Olatz López Garmendia, mother of two more children with Schnabel. Here’s the couple in happier times, with their twin sons (who look not all that happy in this photo):


Then there was four-year-long post-Olatz girlfriend, Italian-Palestinian (Israeli-raised) author Rula Jebreal. If you notice an unsurprising trend towards a widening age disparity between the artist and his women, you’d be correct:


But now, quite suddenly, Schnabel is engaged to be married again, and not to Jebreal. Rather, it’s to Danish model (are you noticing another pattern here, one of non-American women for the Brooklyn-born Schnabel?) May Anderson, who is thirty and pregnant:


Also not a happy camper, at least in that particular photo.

Now well you might ask: why do you care? Well, I can’t say I do actually, although I’m writing this post; Schnabel can leave wife/girlfriend after wife/girlfriend (or be left by wife/girlfriend after wife/girlfriend), and it’s really his and their business. But the phenomenon itself interests me.

What possible point could there be to all of it? After a while, doesn’t it all feel just faintly ridiculous, all this chasing and all this novelty, despite its powerful draw and the resultant feeling of desire for the other mixed with a sense of one’s own enhanced desirability?

Perhaps not. Perhaps they’re looking for something quite different than you or I would be in relationships—and they’re getting it, at least temporarily. And then, after that, the opportunities for replacement abound. if a person moves in these particular money/power/art circles, there’s always more beautiful people to meet. Yes, at a certain point it gets old, and the person gets old. But money and power never get old.

25 Responses to “On trading in for a better model”

  1. LTEC Says:

    “But money and power never get old.”
    Why do you assume the goal is money and power? Perhaps money and power are the means, and sex is the goal.

  2. Sam L. Says:

    Consider Hugh Hefner. (I almost said “think”; decided not to go there.)

  3. chuck Says:

    That reminds me of one of my favorite National Lampoon covers.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    As a ‘successful’ man who has gained some status and wealth, many women are going to find that highly attractive in a mate. As Schnabel has aged, the evolution to an ever greater gap in age is determinative of his psychological motivations.

    The dynamics of the ‘successful’ older man – younger woman have by now been fairly well determined. They are not primarily seeking the connection and companionship of equals.

    His serial monogamism is indicative of an inability to form lasting attachments because that doesn’t address his basic insecurities, so he seeks continual reaffirmation of his desirability as a man and the older he gets, the younger the woman must be to reaffirm his desirability. So he trades in the old model for the newer, younger model.

    The greater the gap in age the more certain that for the woman, ‘daddy’ issues are involved. Psychologically, each seeks to complement the other, so as to lessen the psychological ‘fault line’.

    Unfortunately, while we can identify the psychological dynamics, simple awareness of the ‘formative issues’ someone may be confronted with, does not heal those issues. Thus the limited facility of psychological analysis and treatment of psychologically ‘unhealthy’ people, who are quite sane, just to use a common parlance, ‘screwed up’.

    Undoubtedly, psychological understanding can help people, it just can’t cure them. Which is why ‘mental health’ hospitals is a euphemism for prisons for the mentally unstable.

    Not that Schnabel is unstable, just screwed up, caught within the web of his own psychological dysfunctions.

  5. chuck Says:

    Geoffrey, I think you are making a pathology out of what is simply the nature of the beast. Why is seeking a mature “companionship of equals” an indication of mental health, while seeking nubile young things is a indication of psychological issues? Is seeking power a pathology or natural? So on and so forth. It may not be your cup of tea, nor mine, but it is an easily observed fact that this sort of behavior is rather common among Homo Sapiens.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    LTEC: Did you read the entire sentence? I was speaking of what happens as each member of the duo gets older and older and finally really old, and perhaps discard each other and are looking for a new person.

    For example, Schnabel is now in his early 60s, but what about when (like Hefner) he’s a lot older, in his 80s for example? Maybe sex will still be his goal in seeking a younger mate, but I doubt it will be the goal of his younger mate at that time, or she would probably do a bit better seeking someone closer to her own age. Likewise, a model like May Anderson, who is now 30. As she ages, one of the main commodities in which she deals—sex—will become less of a draw for others to her because her looks will inevitably change. At 50, she will probably still look pretty good and be somewhat sexually magnetic, but nothing like at 30. And what of when she’s in her 70s and 80s? That’s not to say that there aren’t attractive women of that age—there are—but generally they have had to develop other resources, too, and sex is not the main reason a person might be attracted to them in the way that person is attracted to a 30-year-old model.

    So what I am saying, basically, is that for both people, as they become old, the strength of sex as a lure becomes weaker. But money and power never get old. In fact, to be crass, in that set, for an older man trying to attract a younger woman, the lure of money is usually greater with age for him, not weaker, because (1) he has more money, ordinarily, than when younger; and (2) it is closer to the time when she might actually inherit it.

  7. vanderleun Says:

    Next up: Anne of the Thousand Days

  8. Ann Says:

    Like Hefner, Schnabel apparently mostly wears pajamas.


  9. RigelDog Says:

    He’s gross. And he has apparently decided to take up with a preying mantis.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    One can certainly make that argument. You ask, “Why is seeking a mature “companionship of equals” an indication of mental health, while seeking nubile young things is a indication of psychological issues?”

    The why of it is because a “companionship of equals” deepens maturity and the ability to relate intimately, whereas “seeking nubile young things” atrophies that natural process. It cannot do otherwise, being a strictly physical satisfaction. In cases like Schnabel, it is a coping mechanism for a fundamental psychological insecurity that the individual typically wishes to avoid, rather than confront.

    By definition the young cannot fully relate to the maturity of the older, as they lack the life experience that brings maturity. That deepening maturity brings wisdom; the ability to understand life, its circumstances and ourselves at a deeper level.

    Seeming exceptions; wise young people and immature older ones are actually a reflection of how well integrated and psychologically healthy the individual actually is and, anything that interferes with the development of maturity results in, to one degree or another, arrested development.

    The current state of our country and the world inescapably confirms this assertion.

    And it is a psychological pathology because the formative factors that result in it, prevents the individual’s fullest maturity from developing.

  11. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Seconding what what Geoff said, since I had it composed in my head before reading his comment, “seeking nubile young things” says it all.
    One does not establish a social relationship with a “thing”.
    Much less a stable relationship.

  12. holmes Says:

    Read Tim Keller’s “Meaning of Marriage.” It’s a heavily Christian book, of course, but it outlines well the current problems with the modern person’s view of marriage. It’s basically a sexual fulfillment contract at this point and an exchange. As long as they further each other’s interests, the contract continues. It terminates when that ceases.

  13. njartist49 Says:

    Take the red-pill. Once you understand female hypergamy, the flocking of women to high status men is not strange. Schnabel most likely understands what is going on and is enjoying the ride: he knows damn well that if he was not the success he is, he’d be a poor and single artist in a small studio apt; women would not give him a second glance.

    When I was in graduate school, I had a mentor who was a was the relatively successful artist as well as being a university instructor. He had several girl friends around the town, including a few from the university – this was the seventies.

    I was also his T.A./studio assistant. I remember walking with him to his studio: we had had a hard afternoon and night the previous day working on an important sculpture and I had met him at his apt. the following morning to resume work; we were but three blocks from the campus when a Mercedes pulls up and a pretty blond jumps out and yells, “Hey, *****.” And off he went for two hours. When he got back, I just gave him a hard look for shirking. Turned out the blond was the wife of the local symphony director.

  14. Shouting Thomas Says:

    Sex is the answer. For those who haven’t tried it, this might be a mystery, but more sex with more partners is the ultimate stimulant.

    And, no, it doesn’t get old.

    Odd, neo-con, that you only comment on the behavior of the man, and not the behavior of his women.

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    Comparing the Left’s model for female social harmony with the Japanese model, some striking differences come about.

    The Japanese model is tilted more towards having individuals, in marriage and finding love, to advance personal interests. This allows sharing of resources, but only if the two parties have something to offer each other that isn’t devalued on the social market place.

    The Left’s model seems to intentionally devalue things like trust, reliance on masculinity and dependence on feminity, as well as sexual value in or out of marriage. Perhaps it takes a village because the two people available aren’t good enough, as their value has decreased to below acceptable margins. On the other hand, those who are good enough, can put their children into private education, away from the average masses. They also have high social status, money, or power that can increase their value on the social market. But what about everybody else?

    What are they going to do when their market funds are devalued and redistributed to those with something that hasn’t been devalued by Leftist social engineering? Everyone, can’t become equally famous and rich. Richness itself requires that someone be poorer. If you are as well known as everybody else in existence, then you are not really famous. There is no special value in being X, when everyone has X.

    The Left’s social engineering does not particularly seem to have as its end goal the equalizing of people’s value, but in fact ends up redistributing value from those who have less, to those that have more. Socialism is at its foundation, a project to engineer human behavior and social morality to fit a specific goal and vision. It’s not about economics or laws. It’s not about politics or different flavors of policies. It’s about getting human men and women to the point where they give away their best value, in order to satisfy those who have more power and wealth.

    But what do they get in return? Many people complain that women give sex in return for love and men give love in return for sex, but what do people get now a days, sex in return for sex? Technically, that doesn’t really require marriage or anything that improves the disposition of individuals.

    When one looks at the marriages of the power. What do you see. Do you see sex for sex as the fundamental contract between the Clintons? The Kerry and Teresa Heinzes? The Obamas? Why is it, do you think, that there’s a fundamental difference between marriage between the social elite, and marriage between the poor and middle class brought up on the social elite’s philosophy about marriage?

  16. heliotrope Says:

    Julian Schnabel fancies himself to be a Dionysus: “the goat killer,” “he of the loud shout,” “he who unties,” “the false man,” “he of the winnowing fan.” Dionysis is associated with the bull (testosterone), the serpent (guile), ivy (immortality), wine (intoxication), satyrs (Hesiod: a race good for nothing and unfit for work), debauchery (self-indulgence), and nymphs (beautiful maidens).

    The one problem, however, is that Dionysus was remarkably handsome.

    Schnabel is a mere pile of protoplasm informed by an outsized ego and an underdeveloped belief system who has a talent which has been rewarded with heavy gelt.

    The moths that are attracted to his flame are also imbued with the conceit that they can break the mold.

    Farce. Pure farce. Worthy of being a Greek play.

  17. CV Says:


    I am glad you provided that link because I noticed that he does appear to be wearing a pajama top with his tux in the last photo Neo posted! Apparently that’s not unusual for him.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    CV, Ann, et al: Schnabel was promoting his second wife’s line of pajamas. I kid you not. I seem to recall reading somewhere that even before he met her he often wore pj’s outside of the home, but this article says he wore them almost exclusively instead of formal wear after 2008.

    Probably in the category of much more than you ever wanted to know about Schnabel, including the 1995 photo of Schnabel in PJ’s by Annie Liebowitz at that link.

    There’s much more info on the web about Schnabel and his PJ-wearing proclivities, but I’ll stop here.

  19. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    Hey, he’s had how many kids now? By basic definition, he’s made his genes a tremendous success.

    That’s one way to measure things.

    If he gets no long-term emotional relationships out of it, that’s for him to live (and eventually, die) with.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    Perhaps not. Perhaps they’re looking for something quite different than you or I would be in relationships—and they’re getting it, at least temporarily.

    a while back i told the story of a friend named Odetta.
    yes. the famous Odetta… the singer

    anyway, one thing she said to someone at a private gathering i was at, came in response to their asking what did it feel like to be X? (x being a CV of the peaks of Odetta’s life)…

    and odetta said, honey… if your waiting to feel any different, that will never happen. you always feel like you, its just everyone becomes a lot nicer too you and you get lots of invites and meet lots of people.

    the point was that you always feel like you…
    except when your pretending to be someone else

    but in the case of this kind of person, what your missing is their need for validation as the change in life circumstances and status doesnt FEEL any different than when they were another way.

    but also… you end up dating who you end up having access to, and not others. his first wife is who he had access to, before he was famous. after he was famous, only other famous didn’t care if he was famous. so he developed relationships with who he found interesting and around him. there is no way for him to meet others, nor after hanging out with them would others necessarily attract his attention.

    not wishing to drum up an old argument, top models are more than just pretty faces, and bodies… at least at the top level. they are often educated, and they are bright if not smart, they eat like horses, and their lives are more interesting than the frappe girl in the village Starbucks. and then there is the validation the wanting to feel like you made it and a Cadillac just wont do.

    there is also loneliness…
    the being important one day, and the next day to month there isnt much of anything…

    hanging out with average people ends as a drag unless you lie… and a lot of the things you go to that are events are part of how you keep in everyone’s minds and stay fresh. whats behind the red felt divider is not what people think. especially among the professional famous for who that is a part of how they live.

    oh, and since you always feel like you and your mind dont age and feel old as you get older, his tastes remain the same as his late prime. he doesnt have kids with them, thats real expensive given the law…

    and the early relationships were different than the later if you dont notice… where we forget to take the young ladies view and her ideas of who he is (and are excited that such a man is interested in them)…

    they are in the beginning of their roller coaster ride, and he is much more along a very long one.

    there are career considerations as well perhaps..
    a lot of people i have met on the carpets are very dedicated to their lives being a certain way and they having a certain image to be seen like and so on. (with others not giving a damn as their way up wasn’t that way, it got that way after they arrived and stay in the game a long time).

    funny thing..
    we can ask him and he may not even know either

    but my money is on boring obligations and access to such people at such events, hitting it off and so on…

    to this day i am friends with a woman who i met that way at such an event… it was an actors party and they were holding court and i came by, and they who groveled for him, saw him treat me very well… so everyone was nice..

    anyway, she is Swedish, blonde, and has starred in various Broadway and off Broadway plays in the US and Europe. we basically were bored, saw what a farce this was, and spend the evening reciting Monty python skits from memory, and hitting people with lines if they interrupted us. they would say excuse me, and i would say “welcome i am so glad your hear to have an argument”… or something

    one day i was chatting with a model that wasn’t on that day and was supporting the designer and other friend models. we chatted, i went and did my thing and i was pleasant when i saw her… later that day she slipped me her phone number. for friends? for dates? i don’t know, i never called…

    So its who and where you hang out too and what you do and so on…

    [i should point out that a lot of these people have high incomes or are comfortable in a certain way. so that influences a lot of how they see relationships and being together. also, when two ‘stars’ marry or stay close, it rarely works out well. they both want the other to kiss their ass and that makes for an impASS (oy)]

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