BATHED IN ABSINTHIAN WISTFULNESS & MELANCHOLIC NOSTALGIA, CURRADO MALASPINA SITS BY THE WINDOW OF HIS SMALL CELL AND SKETCHES SCENES FROM HIS PAST.
Rough, awkward but unmistakably heartfelt, Currado Malaspina's small new drawings are a sad, strong testament to his decayed vanity. Scrawled with a primitive hand-carved quill, these precious tracings are explicit maps of his wretched, broken mind.
In 1998, as a guest of Charo Valrhona, Cuba's genteel Minister of Arts and Sports, Currado was feted by the island's top luminaries. He played tennis with three time Olympic champion Donatello Borges, sang madrigals with the immortal coloratura Dobry Den Esponoza, discussed Hegel with the controversial cultural critic Djudeo Espanyol and went horseback riding with Fidel's nephew, the great harness racer Ocucaje Castro.
His very public romance with the very married Romina Magia of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba was the cause of great scandal. A vigil of international journalists camped in front of the Bosque Hotel in central Havana where he rented a suite of rooms. When Romina's husband Francesco blackened Currado's lower lip under the reproachful gaze of Che Guevara, the hungry shutters clicked in a tap dance of prurient fascination.
The other day, I received in the mail the above drawing. On the back was an inscription which read: "c'était la valeur la douleur."