Art Dealer Vito Schnabel Takes a Roll in the Hay with Truman Capote in New ‘Feud’ Episode - The World News

Art Dealer Vito Schnabel Takes a Roll in the Hay with Truman Capote in New ‘Feud’ Episode

Vito Schnabel, a New York art dealer and the son of painter Julian Schnabel, is among the stars of the latest episode of Feud: Capote vs. the Swans, the FX TV series that chronicles Truman Capote‘s volatile friendships with several female members of his era’s Manhattan elite.

It starts with a blow job. Schnabel, playing a repairperson named Rick, comes to Capote’s place to fix a garbage disposal. A dejected Capote, feeling as though he has aged out of relevancy in New York, strikes up a conversation, finding himself fascinated by this younger, less wealthy man from Illinois who rides a Harley-Davidson to work.

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A woman in a white bathing suit holding a poodle while dipping her feet into a pool.

“I wonder if you’d be at all interested in having your cock sucked,” Capote suggests. Rick, who typically goes for women, accepts the offer, and later admits that it was the best fellatio he received. The two embark on a month-long relationship that eventually comes to an end when Rick admits he is engaged to a woman.

Schnabel has acted before, but only rarely, and never in such a mainstream role as this one. He’s better known for his self-titled gallery, which has spaces in New York and St. Moritz, Switzerland, and represents trendy artists such as Trey Abdella and Robert Nava. His gallery has also shown paintings by Gus Van Sant, the director of famed films such as Good Will Hunting and Milk. Van Sant helmed the majority of Feud: Capote vs. the Swans, including this week’s episode.

That Schnabel had been cast in Feud had been previously reported in the tabloids, which fixated on him performing alongside Warren Beatty’s daughter, Ella Beatty, who plays a young protégée of Capote in this episode.

As this episode progresses, Rick becomes increasingly bored with Capote, who forces him to join him in venues where a repairman stands out. During a lunch at La Cote Basque, the Midtown eatery where Capote and his friends often dined, Rick talks about hacksaws and handiwork while socialites such as C. Z. Guest discuss Gore Vidal, the author who sued Capote over libel. (Capote countersued; Capote lost.) “Who’s Gore Vidal?” Rick asks, with Schnabel inflecting his voice as though he were genuinely confused.

By now, the blow jobs are beside the point. In bed together, Capote seeks one while they are watching an episode of The Love Boat, and a disaffected Rick says to wait. Maybe he’ll do it during commercial break, he explains.

Andy Warhol, who really did star in an episode The Love Boat, playing himself, flashes by on screen. (Warhol appeared on the show in 1985, a full seven years after this episode takes place.) “Look, your friend Andy’s on Love Boat,” Rick says.

“My God, it’s a horror show!” Capote responds. “They put embalming fluid in his foundation, didn’t they.”

Schnabel’s appearance on Feud is the latest art-world connection that has emerged on the series, which streams on Hulu, although the others have been set more within the world of the show rather than outside it. Babe Paley, a major art collector, is one of the show’s protagonists, and last week’s installment featured a musing on a Diego Rivera painting of a nude C. Z. Guest. Meanwhile, in this episode, the Ella Beatty character, a young version of the actress Kate Harrington, visits artist Richard Avedon’s studio, where she is photographed dancing.

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