Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My good friend Currado Malaspina is consumed by the constant cadence of his ebbing vitality. While still well within the feckless youth of old age, his certitude is less certain and his dominion considerably less dominant.

Finding neither joy nor comfort nor love in the fleeting liaisons that still furiously fill his clock, Currado marinates his misery in long, doleful letters to his few remaining friends.

His chief correspondent is the irresistibly exquisite Los Angeles artist, Dahlia Danton.

Currado Malaspina and Dahlia Danton at the Tigres Library, Madrid, 2004
"My heart is a heretical bar fly showing little deference and less remorse. I am greedy for forgetfulness," he recently wrote from Tangiers where he still owns a villa overlooking Cape Spartel. "I long for honeyed conversation curved with lies and false hopes."
(Ms Danton has given me access to most of the letters exchanged by her and Malaspina, apparently unconcerned about betraying a confidence)

I have to say, I have little compassion for my old furtive friend. Most men his age are consigned to a life of bearish nostalgia, a sad phantom of imagined recollections of heroic lechery. Currado by contrast seems to be perpetually incanting a libidinous libretto of voluptuous celebration grounded in fact.

Currado Malaspina, 2012
 "Heaving hips and gamboling breasts," ("hanches lancinante et les seins gambadant) "are the secrets to a perfumed longevity," was how Rodin put it in his 1902 letter to Constance LeVrai. Although it is an uncertain wager reading an artist's work for biographical clues, Malaspina's recent drawings may provide a window into his mid-life preoccupations.

Could they possibly be meant as monuments of a self-professed magnificence? Or are they noiseless lamentations of impending impotence?

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