April 9, 2018

"It was my birthday but I hadn’t slept all night so at 7:00 A.M. I took a sleeping pill, but it acted more like an up. I really feel like an old-timer this time."

"I can’t believe I’m so old because that means (laughs) that Brigid’s old, too. It’s too abstract. I can’t even squish a roach anymore because it’s just like a life, like living. I glued myself together and wanted to walk. Got a lot of phone calls about my birthday. Todd Brassner called and I told him to come down and bring me a present, but he didn’t."

That's from the Wednesday, August 6, 1980 entry in "The Andy Warhol Diaries." You see why I'm quoting that today?

There's also: "Friday, March 25, 1977—Los Angeles Up at 7:00. Todd Brassner called and said he just saw Muhammad Ali in the Polo Lounge, and that he also saw Charles Bronson in the lobby."

And: "Friday, November 3, 1978 — The Elvis at the Parke Bernet auction on Thursday went for $85,000. It was estimated to go between 100 and 125. The market’s peaked for contemporary art. Todd Brassner said the Mao was about to go for $4,000 and he bid it up to $5,000 and then somebody else got it so he was thrilled."

Yeah: Todd Brassner. Does the name ring a bell?

"Art Collector and Bon Vivant Dies in Trump Tower Home He Couldn’t Sell" (NYT). What do you have to do in life to get called in "bon vivant" in a NYT headline when you die? He died famously, in a big fire in Trump's tower, but how did he live to gain a status called "bon vivant," reportable as a matter of fact in the sober NYT?
“He led a very out-there life,” said Jodi Stuart, who was Mr. Brassner’s first girlfriend and had been in and out of his life since. “Out there in sports cars, out there in rock ’n’ roll, playing Hendrix on guitar, bigger than life.... We used to go to the Fillmore East and Max’s Kansas City... Todd got right in with the Factory and Andy Warhol. He picked em: Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, Jaguars, beautiful homes, beautiful women.”...

Todd Brassner fit right into the Warhol orbit, and often went shopping with the artist, said Stuart Pivar, a collector who was very close to Warhol. “They were like two 14-year-olds, seeing the world..."...

Mr. Brassner’s struggle with drugs brought him into contact with “shady characters, who snookered him out of masterpieces,” Mr. Pivar said. The apartment was so cluttered Mr. Brassner could barely move, Mr. Pivar said.

20 comments:

madAsHell said...

The size of the blaze told me.....performance art!!

Danno said...

bon vivant = cheese-eating surrender monkey

stever said...

So someone help me out, do we know what happened? Curios but too indifferent to research it.

rehajm said...

That contemporary art peak didn’t exactly hold, did it? Warhol Maos have gone for $20 million. Elvi have gone for more.

rehajm said...

like 4x more

Etienne said...

The most important part of being a bon vivant is you have to grab pussy from those that let you.

"Sitting alone at his window-seat, he was like an old boulevardier fallen on hard times, waspish, inward, slothful." - The Honourable Schoolboy

...he was never one to run around with his hair on fire.

egad...

Virgil Hilts said...

A packrat in the Trump tower? Years ago, I was living in a modest house with my girlfriend and a house a few doors down burned to the ground. An old couple lived there and the house was packed floor to ceiling with magazines and paper; there was no way the firemen could enter and they did not want to enter with all that fuel (the old couple survived). A weird mental disease.

traditionalguy said...

Being old and alone with no children seeing about your condition is a terrile way for a bon vivant to leave the planet. Wonder if that is a gay man's destiny?

buwaya said...

Traditionalguy is right.

Old, no wife, no children, and, probably, no longer many real friends to go bon vivanting with. No reason to live.

I suspect a suicide.

Rick said...

Mr. Brassner’s struggle with drugs brought him into contact with “shady characters, who snookered him out of masterpieces,” Mr. Pivar said. The apartment was so cluttered Mr. Brassner could barely move, Mr. Pivar said.

He filed for bankruptcy in 2015,

Ms. Stuart said she thought Mr. Brassner did not want his friends to see him in declining health.

“We tried very hard to meet with him or have lunch or dinner with him,” she said. “He wanted us to know the Todd that was before. Not the Todd who was impaired. He suffered a lot.


There is no discussion of how the fire started. I wonder whether the people who used the opportunity to claim Trump killed someone will reflect on their own failure to demonstrate basic human decency if/when it turns out a suicide.

Probably not.

madAsHell said...

I suspect a suicide.

The other side of performance art.

MadisonMan said...

That he couldn't sell

Well, why not? Did he ask too much, or was it too messy to show?

I rather doubt an apartment can't be sold in Trump Tower if you ask the right amount.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Yeah, that's nice. So he lived an unusual and somewhat interesting life.

Is this the post you want to go with to distract from the fact that Trump was too cheap to keep his fire-hazard building from killing him?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

There is no discussion of how the fire started. I wonder whether the people who used the opportunity to claim Trump killed someone will reflect on their own failure to demonstrate basic human decency if/when it turns out a suicide.

Trump-love sure does bring out the delusional in you folks, doesn't it? Suicide by arson? Yeah, right. I'm sure that's a real common/likely way to do it.

tcrosse said...

He was a boulevardier, raconteur, gourmand, and bon vivant, possibly a bien-penstant. But he lived in mid-town Manhattan instead of Paris or Montreal, What could go wrong ?

Etienne said...

Well, why not? Did he ask too much...

He probably had rent control, but once he sold, all that went away. Who wants to live in a shit hole, when they can have a nice place in Connecticut and ride the train for half the price.

William said...

I think the reason for the lack of sprinklers was because the high end clients don't want them. If you have an expensive art collection or period furniture, a sprinkler system can be more disastrous than a small fire.......There's more to this story. I didn't read the obit, but he was known to dislike Trump. That's probably why the obit is so nice. I know nothing about him, but I think with a little bit of research you could find some negative things to say about him. They would have been said if he were a vocal supporter of Trump.

Big Mike said...

The apartment was so cluttered Mr. Brassner could barely move

In any case you couldn't get out while the getting was good.

David said...

"That he couldn't sell"

meaning

"That was worth less than the debt encumbering it."

Theodore James said...

I had a friend who hung out with that crew.

He died a couple of years ago. Nice guy.

I'm older than he is now.