Tuesday, April 21, 2015


 If life were a bluefin tuna, then my good friend David Schoffman has just swallowed his last taste of Otoro.  Found on the very underside of the fish, the otoro is like a waterbed - fatty and soft almost to the point of falling apart - but when it reaches your palate it melts in your mouth like butter. The juicy part of David's life will soon be a thing of the past so he's living the moment hard and fast as if he were on borrowed time.

Schoffman is having a pretty good run, or so it may seem on the surface. He never misses an opportunity to be seen in the company of some glamorous woman even if the connection is tenuous or even hostile. Long before branding became something other than the painful mortification of cattle and sheep, Schoffman was careful to curate an image of the artist as roué. Now, as his stock declines like brent crude I see his future as a struggle after some new, novel form of self-definition.

One option, of course, is the mad, mercurial éminence grise, but I think that might take too much energy. They say that about 80% of Los Angeles artists under the age of thirty view Schoffman with little more than ambivalence. The remaining 20% regard him with outright contempt. (Interestingly, this particular poll, first published in ViralArt.com claimed no margin of error).

Another option is that of the recluse - the mysterious eccentric who surfaces from time to time and captivates the public with visionary and provocative insight. Unfortunately, David has been spitting out the same type work for years and intellectually he seems to be clearly out of gas. 

I think it would be best if he just joined the rest of us old guys and simply took it easy for a while. There are things a lot worse than slipping into obscure irrelevancy. I say, save your energy - eventually this love affair with technology will ripen into contempt. When that happens they'll be banging down the doors at all the senior centers looking for the last few remaining pencils. 

By then Schoffman will be as fermented as unagi and may even have enough left in him for one last victory lap.

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