More about Robert Avedis Hagopian
No Robert Hagopian is neither an 80s porn star nor the father of the actor Adrien Brody, although the similarities to both are uncanny.
Robert was just a pianist, but I'm thinking he missed his calling in life. At least that’s what Alice Neel’s painting leads us to believe. Alice Neel was a weirdo who analyzed the psyche of the people she painted. You can see the what she thought were the most important parts of Robert Avedis Hagopian’s character through her depiction of his body. Neel emphasized his ginormous hands to highlight his piano playing abilities (and his piano playing abilities alone. Nothing dirty… although Neel did have a knack for painting her lovers which is probably why the center of the painting is his crotch).
Unfortunately, there is no explicit evidence that she and Robert actually had a romantic relationship although I would like to believe that this painting pretty much spells it out for us. I mean just look at those “come hither” eyes and the world’s tightest jeans. His thighs take up practically ⅓ of the entire painting. His pornstache on the other hand, takes up entirely too little room.
But even if there had been an affair between Alice and Robert, it couldn’t have lasted long as Robert tragically died at the age of 39 due to AIDS. His parents donated this portrait to the de Young Museum in his honor. They were obviously way more generous than I would ever be with a work of art like this or they were uncomfortable with their son’s porn star good looks.