Thursday, September 24, 2015


Here in Paris, all the cool people are old.

The swaggering public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy is a spry sixty-six. The provocative contrarian novelist Michel Houellebecq is fifty-nine. And though I'm often mistaken for a fit fifty-five, the ugly truth is that I'll be fifty-seven this winter.

Unfortunately, things are much different across the Atlantic.  If Miley Cyrus is already stressed about her stretch marks where's the hope for wretched talents like the thirty-two year old political activist Stacy Freidhof or the equally ancient twenty-nine year old TV personality Darwash Ripling?

You can only imagine what it's like for someone as old and as insecure as my good friend David Schoffman. 

 Like his leathery jowls his stock has migrated south. In the United States of Juvenescence you're considered washed up shortly after you receive your driver's license. For an artist over there there's no such thing as "late style," "mastery," or a ripened career's "triumphant dénouement." No, in muscular America callow is king!

But David, a man of your talent and experience ... must you capitulate to this perversion of priorities. You and I both know that there is no substitute for seasoned reasoning, experience and time. Why do you insist on groveling toward the base instincts of your ignorant countrymen? Why must you play the fool with your pathetic masquerade?

Shagging young Hollywood starlets is bad enough.

Must you carpet your brilliant dome as well!?


Thursday, September 03, 2015


Any schmuck can join a cult but it takes a real genius to start one.
Not that it's particularly difficult persuading people that the burden of thinking for oneself is best relinquished to a higher authority. Folks have always done that.
But why do some systems catch on while others struggle to stay intact?
A cult has to make the cultee, in the argot of our time, "feel better about themselves." I'm no psychologist but when you start introducing unreasonable taboos - shrimp, sex, checking accounts - pretty soon you're going to start having recruitment and retention problems.
The genius lies in the packaging. 
So while struggling to earn the small fortune he feels so entitled to, my good friend David Schoffman has attempted to create a cult of personality revolving around the most unlikely theme.
Grafting the sedative bromides from the vernacular of awareness training, David has twisted the time-honored tradition of figure drawing into a form of therapy.
His students - or more precisely, his followers - pay upwards of $4700 to attend a five week course called "Courage, Contentment, Chiaroscuro," where he gently guides them toward the fugitive euphoria of invented self-esteem.
There are no mistakes in David's course. No proportion problems, no awkward line quality, no attempts at verisimilitude, in fact there is absolutely no mention of drawing as an area of technical or aesthetic expertise.
Every student leaves knowing that they are awesome artists and that their true potential conveniently awaits in the more reasonably priced "Advanced Course."
In an art world governed by duplicity, where fortunes are made in the speculative investment in specious concepts and shoddy talents, where celebrity and glitz count more than quality and ignorant consultants offer ignorant advice to their ignorant clients I think that what David is doing may well be considered virtuous.