Wednesday, December 31, 2014


My continental colleague Currado Malaspina and I were once described by a lyrically muddled art critic as "two vipers gnawing on the same rim" (due vipere rosicchiare sullo stesso bordo). Maybe it lost something in the warped mirror of translation but to this day I still have no idea what the hell she was talking about.

Her snipe (or was it a compliment?) was occasioned by one of our very rare collaborations, a two-person exhibition in Milan where we were roped into creating a site-specific installation putatively inspired by the work of Giulio Andreotti and Salvatore Riina.

Creating a piece in the shadow of this legendary pair of conceptualists was considered a dumb idea at the time and it remains a dumb idea till today. I give credit to the curators for succeeding in that rare phenomena in contemporary art discourse where a questionable premise maintains its flimsy durability despite the passage of time. 

After enduring the calamitous repercussions to my own fragile career I vowed never to repeat the awful mistake of linking my artistic fate with a lesser talent.

Unfortunately Currado is not that clever.

If Malaspina and I were snakes nibbling on the teat of professional triumph then he and the Los Angeles diva Dahlia Danton must be a pair of abstemious innocents staring at the seductions of a defeated dessert.

Anyone who has spent half a minute in New York City knows that the artworld there is indifferent both to women and to Frenchmen. Combine the two and you have a target as wide as the New Jersey Turnpike. Add to this the naked fact that Danton puts the super in superficial and I can hear the carrion crows smacking their silver nibs all the way to Culver City.

Chiana Garner and Garry Chiati, two formidable New York dealers who in a sane world should know better have decided to kick off their 2015 season with what looks more like a stunt than a salvo.

Maybe it's envy or maybe it's distrust but I am sincerely appalled at this naked attempt to seduce the East with these stale flavors of months long past. Pairing Danton with Currado is like serving quail eggs with Nutella and barring an act of god my two friends will gag on their own fermented vomit.

It's a pity. Danton fits so sweetly into the glistening swell of southern California.


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