Knowing that he was a native New Yorker, when he arrived at the Selahattin Doha Resort and Spa his Qatar hosts had a royal breakfast of bagels and lox awaiting him at his hotel suite.
David was stunned by the warmth of his reception. He had heard about the Middle Eastern culture of hospitality but nothing prepared him for the warmth and generosity that he experienced from the moment he landed at Doha International. One of the many photojournalists who were on hand at his arrival captured a shell shocked Schoffman standing beside a larger than life bust of the "founder of the modern Qatari State" the one-eared Daoud ibn Asad.
He was there as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Western Asian Arts and was expected to deliver the closing lecture at the annual Doha Conference on Color and Colonialism. That he felt like a pawn in a political kabuki goes without saying. David knew from bitter experience that whenever the word "colonialism" is used in a public or academic context, the best course is to swiftly make for the (uncontested and unoccupied) hills.
His talk included references to Gerome's trip to Jerusalem, Delecroix's sojourn in Morroco and Renoir's obsession with Algeria. He discussed Matisse and Ingres and analyzed in depth their depiction of regional stereotypes.
|Solomon Wall, Jean Leon Gerome, 1863|
|The Sultan of Morocco and His
Entourage, Delacroix, 1854|
|Odalisque, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1870|
|Portrait of Judicum Giacomo Ghazi, Faun Roberts, 1931|
Around the turn of the 20th century Ghazi was sent by the Emir of Buraydah on a vague diplomatic mission to Estonia and Lithuania. What was supposed to be a four week excursion turned into four years. When he finally returned to the Arabian Peninsula he had two small children and was married to the niece of the chief rabbi of Ostrog.
It didn't take long for him to figure out that western Europe might be a more hospitable environment and in around 1904, penniless and disgraced, he moved with his family to Paris. He quickly fell in with le bande de Picasso, enjoying a life of artistic bonhomie, promiscuity and antic subversion.
|from left to right, Cocteau, Jacob, Kisling, Gros, Picasso and in the back with the moustache, Judicum Giacomo Ghazi|
The next morning for breakfast he was served pancakes and fruit .