This week’s New Yorker has a brief story about Aby Rosen, the real-estate investor, art collector, and landlord known for battling with some well-known tenants. This week, Emma Allen has a story about roaming the Bowery with Rosen, whom she describes as “walrusy.” The story touches on what it was like to clean out one of his recent acquisitions, 190 Bowery, which was filled with Penthouse and Playboy magazines, among other things, which were allegedly left behind the photographer Jay Maisel, who lived there for decades.
Here’s one particularly juicy bit:
An art show curated by Vito Schnabel had just been taken down. “That’s how it goes,” Rosen said. “Art in, art out.” Of his own art collection (Warhol, Basquiat, Koons, Hirst), he said, “I’m surprisingly very unattached to those things. I love them, but if you walk in my house and say, ‘Can I buy it?’ Absolutely. It’s worth X, you can walk out with it.” Last fall, Rosen expressed a desire to remove “Le Tricorne,” a beloved Picasso stage curtain, from the Four Seasons, where it had hung for half a century. The Landmarks Conservancy was not pleased. (Rosen eventually paid for the work to be restored and displayed in the New-York Historical Society.)