Monday, September 17, 2012


North American art magazines aren't what they used to be. When I was an art student at the École des Beaux-Arts in the early seventies, in addition to reading Art-das Kunstmagazin, Domus, Cahiers d'Art and Flash I was an assiduous devotée of Arts Magazine, Artforum and Art in America.
Arts no longer exists, Art in America is essentially an infomercial and Artforum is like Andy Warhol's Interview but with bigger words.
A few ambitious critics and intellectuals have been rushing of late to fill the void. One relatively new journal called bvcx  is published in Brooklyn New York by Malmoth Ltd and is edited by Sami Sukah and Françoise Kipur.

The only reason that it caught my eye is because my dear friend David Schoffman sent me a copy.
Ever since we were young, David has always made it a point to passively yet aggressively keep score with me. Every time he had an exhibition, no matter how trivial and insignificant, he would rush to send me an announcement. If he were mentioned in the press or featured on television, I would be promptly notified. (It would be useful to point out that whenever David receives one of his not infrequent, highly critical, negative reviews I am conspicuously left out of the loop).
And such is the case with bvcx. The current issue has a lengthy (and largely incoherent) article about Schoffman and his relationship to the flamboyant and beautiful Los Angeles artist cum diva Dahlia Danton.

I'm not sure if David actually read the article or was merely flattered by the attention. He comes off as vain, grasping and competitive. Anton Mier-Bahn, who wrote the article, is an old friend of mine and is not one who settles for scoring petty rhetorical points. Though the prose is dense with a lot of academic jargon the gist is unmistakable.
The rest of the magazine was rather interesting, especially the article about André Derain's relationship with the Nazis. The layout is very striking as well, though I'm afraid it may diminish from its seriousness.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Table Scraps

Drawing, like prayer, is an implement of hope. My good friend David Schoffman wavers between supplication and dreams as he soldiers hopefully through an abyss of unsubstantiated surmise. He draws constantly with a romantic's infinite longing for completion.

Completion? Does he really expect to complete his one-hundred paneled polyptych in this lifetime?

The Body Is His Book: 100 Paintings Installation, charcoal and colored pencil on paper, 2005

Though he rarely allows anyone to see the actual work in progress in his studio, the working drawings for his monumental The Body Is His Book: One-Hundred Paintings have been widely disseminated. A small group of studies were recently reproduced in the Italian periodical Verme Vecchio. In a seven-thousand word essay by Professor Enzo Giovanemoglie of Università di Bologna, the drawings were described as "arterial spokes of secular prophecy," ("raggi arteriosi del secolare profezia").  Giovanemoglie goes on to argue that "the glaze of death" ("lo smalto di morte") is never absent from the "processional, melismatic valves of complicated patternings ... [that are the] ... architectural underpinnings of practically all of Schoffman's graphic renderings."


I just think that David has a very nice team of competent assistants.

The Body Is His Book #62, (Unfinished), Oil on panel, 2003 - 2012