Wednesday, January 16, 2013


My good friend, Los Angeles painter David Schoffman, sent shock waves across the artworld and sent the international art markets into a convulsive tailspin with his sudden announcement that he was giving up painting for good.

At a press conference in The Hague, (why The Hague? ... is there some oblique connection to the International World Court? Nothing Schoffman does is void of symbolic intent, irony, self-mockery or lyric allusion), flanked by both his New York and London dealers, Schoffman assured the assembled journalists that this was not just a simple exercise is Duchampian dissembling. 

"I'm hanging up my brushes for good," he told the audience in the meticulously choreographed 'no questions allowed' gathering that was broadcast live simultaneously on Dutch cable TV and Skype (4AM Los Angeles time). "I have nothing more to say, nothing more to prove and nothing further to learn," he continued. Jaws dropped and prices soared as the nonchalant Schoffman proceeded to deliver an ad hominem attack on critics, curators, collectors, third-world despots, Islamic extremists, multi-national corporations, climate scientists, the media, NASA, the IRS, the UN and Whole Foods.

When questioned later about his motives by Het Parool's Rijckaert Barendsz, Schoffman shrugged off any suggestion of high purpose stating simply that "... painting is obsolete, bereft and irrevocably dead, and quite frankly, I am the one who killed it."  

An exhibition of David's final works is scheduled for the spring of 2014 and is tentatively titled "Decomposing Pictures: Uncritical Carrion from an Archaic Artist." I suppose his studio assistants haven't given up their craft as hastily as their boss.