|Currado Malaspina"s work table, Rue Bernoulli studio, 2012|
My aging friend Currado Malaspina is the perpetual student. Works left derelict for years are constantly being retrieved from moldy flat files and subjected to relentless reworkings, innovative re-imaginings and contemporary re-contextualization.
Revisiting the prior ports of personal embarkation is a dangerous game rife with regret, recrimination and cruel self-mocking melancholy. Currado, working within the silent womb of his Rue Bernoulli studio suffers none of these afflictions. To his great credit Malaspina sees the atelier as nothing but a provincial parish, a forgotten artery of urban artistic intercourse. In this way he can indulge in his work without the classic fatigue that his younger contemporaries suffer from with their self-imposed pressure to constantly provoke the "shock of the new." Currado has already picked the public's pocket and he did so without the neurotic dread that hampers so many emerging artists today.
He has recently discovered the work of American expatriate artist, Faun Roberts. In his words her volatile works from the 1920's and 30's are "a veritable dark Sabbath of frenzied, over-sexed witches (un sabbat noir, plein de sorcières frénétiques et lubriques), an absolute, untamed struggle with the angels and gargoyles of European history."
|Appassionato, Oil on burlap, Faun Roberts, 1923|
His encounter with Roberts has rubbed Currado's muzzle in ways I have never seen before. It's like he fell through a chimney and is now soiled with a new, uncomfortable disquiet.
"Formerly I thought that my whole life was a swollen open sore of transgression and grievance," he told me over the phone not too long ago, "now I see that I was just another fondling of le père Sevin."*
And so my good friend Currado is once again turning inward. He is trying to perfect his knowledge of artistic anatomy and is studying sumi-e brush painting with the Korean master Kim Hong-do. Time will tell what his new passionate research will yield.
He is also struggling to translate Catullus' Clodia poems into contemporary French.
*Father Jacques Sevin is the founder of the French Scouting Association