Friday, July 19, 2013

PERFUMED EXEGESIS AND GUILTY BLISS


Within the wide and divisive range of language-based, post-modern hybridized and allegorical works are the metonymical masterpieces of my good friend David Schoffman. Linguistically baroque with ornamental twists and cross-referenced rebus-like projections whose decentered subjectivity are but a sly and ironic ruse, David's work rewards only after extremely close reading.

In fact, his complicated and hermetic practice requires such close analysis and deep intellectual scrutiny few ever bother endeavoring at the task to begin with.

It's perhaps ironic that this skilled stylist of academic English prose is neglected in his own native country yet revered like a saint here in France. It is to the credit of his translator, Chanelle-Clanddi Bara that David's highly nuanced texts with their ingenious puns and double entendres are rendered so fluidly in a foreign tongue.

Nonetheless, my dear friend is embittered. He wants nothing less than the full appreciation of his American peers. He is frustrated at what seems to him as a debilitating opacity and an unhealthy distrust of what he adorably calls "Nietzschean perspectivism." In a recent exhibition at the Palais Fongus de Mer in Limeuil David presented a piece entitled Regressive Desublimation which seemed specifically aimed at his American detractors. Though it dealt primarily with generative schemes of perception and hyperbolic ideological consecrations, the allusions to the sub-sets of unambiguously American interpellates were as clear as they were damning.

And so to make ends meet and to amuse his restless and highly animated visual appetites, David, with chalk, ink, graphite and every other primitive tool of human handiwork, fills countless sketchbooks with lovely lyrical drawings.


He sells these under an assumed name and is rewarded for his efforts quite handsomely. Discretion and tact prevent me from betraying his secret in full but come this October, New York's Meier-Graefe and Meade will devote all of their 2000 square foot gallery to these charming, well-crafted baubles.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ARTIST FOR A NEW AGE


At one point, after reaching the infancy of his impending old age, my good friend David Schoffman decided to collect a compendium of his earlier indiscretions, examine the sum of his comic misadventures (of which there were quite a few), and turn them all, (some might say redeem them) toward some good (dare I say, commercial) use. He felt the need to create some sort of spectacular Gesamtkunstwerk, an extravagant porridge of verse, painting, prose, music, monumental kinetic sculpture and massive, high definition video projection in order to capture the wide range of his experiences and the profound depth his feelings.

Instead he started a blog.


At first it was quite successful, even viral, if I may play upon the theme of pestilence. His short vignettes were full of charming aper├žus, self-deprecating ironic observations and tentative conclusions that resembled earlier great essayists like Shestov, Van Yost, Hazlitt and Montaigne.

Then suddenly David went dark. 

His essays, or to use the argot of current currency, his posts, became scurrilous streams of capricious vitriol, score-settling screeds of venomous, calumnous, even libelous invective and at times reached the depraved, rarefied point of menacing, thunderous intimidation. 

Of course, that was the point when they started to become really entertaining.

But alas, it was all so short-lived. After several lifestyle adjustments such as intermittent acupunture, the banishment of lactose, gluten and lard, an aqua-cycling/yoga class and a strict eschewal of Russian literature, David went back to painting his puny, insignificant pictures with their lovely colors and their cheaply thrilling plays of light and illusion.