Monday, March 24, 2014

i don't LIKE

I have to admit I love Facebook.

It's petty, it's trivial, it's intrusive and above all, it's addictive. It lures the wise and the dim-witted alike. Highbrows and housewives find common cause in their compromised time and looted privacy. The trivial normally celebrated by Tweeners is now attracting the intelligentsia while our new lingua franca has become the profoundly predictable shared link. Even my good friend Currado Malaspina has been caught in the clutch of this invisible community.

He spends hours examining photos of friends whose children seem to be living in a perpetual state of curated ecstasy. He composes pithy quips and engages in clever repartee with near strangers whose abundant free time is matched only be their poverty of meaningful insight.

But what is important to me in all this is not what he is doing on Facebook (full disclosure: I don't have a Facebook account so don't bother looking me up) but what he is not doing, which is, of course, his work.

Here in Los Angeles the competitive atmosphere among artists is as mild as a young camembert de Normandie.  Not true in other places and I find no worthier antagonist than the formally fierce Currado Malaspina. 

He recently spent two months in a rented Spanish cottage in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Anthropology (yes, such a governmental body exists!). He was commissioned to study the various sectarian communities in the area and in addition to filing a detailed report, create a body of work in response to his findings.

I believe he spent most of his time texting, drinking bad wine, chasing a combative Dahlia Danton and bantering with his new friends on Facebook.

To my great relief the work he completed on his stay was nothing short of abysmal.

North Kings Road, mixed media on paper, Currado Malaspina, 2013

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