Diva Ex Machina

Posted April 24, 2017 – Narrated by Carmen
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When you stare deep into his third eye, you will see an Airstream.

The Airstream you see there in his eye may be your Airstream, or the Airstream of your dreams – but most of the time the Airstream you see in Frank’s eye, is Diva.

Cardplayers – Cezanne

Francis (Frank) DiBona is a serious man, an educated man, a healer and a physician. Frank has few loves: His wife Debbie, his Jack Russell, Rosie …

Carmen holding Rosie, Debbie and Frank Deboni

… and Diva, his 2008 Airstream.

Yellowstone’s Old Faithful – Albert Bierstadt

Frank also loves his beautifully restored vintage home in one of the most desired neighborhoods in the USA.

Yet, Frank is often viewing Asheville, North Carolina in the distance from his rearview mirror …

Thelma and Louise

…because Diva is taking Frank away again … taking him and Debbie and Rosie to places they’ve never been, or to places they once knew and want to see again, or to places in their dreams that might be real but to know for certain one must go a’wandering.

For five years now, Diva and Frank and his loved ones have repeatedly engaged in this “Not Asheville” thing.

Woman Reclining at Lake – Edward Cucuel

It’s all been going quite well.

Kindred spirits – Asher Brown Durand

In fact, Diva has made Frank a hero among Airstream Addicts and the like, and it has nothing to do with his former career as a physician – except this new work also makes people smile and feel better. Frank calls it “dabbling …”

Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (Disection of an Airstream Addict) – Rembrandt

…dabbling with a purpose.

Vitruvian Man – da Vinci

Airstreamers know that every dark shadow following you from behind is only your future Airstream trying to find you …

Street in Venice – John Singer Sargent

Diva found Frank when he was still working as a nephrologist. They dramped (driveway camped) together for a few months while Frank slowly and methodically retired from the day job.

During that stay-cation honeymoon, Diva studied Frank’s potential. Well, he spoke several languages, was astute in digital technology and, in their youth, both Diva and Frank had unfulfilled ambitions in art history.

Diva knew they could make beautiful music together. So, she sank her rivets deep and fast, and now together, the chemistry is nothing less than magic.

Singing Butler – Jack Vettriano

Frank DiBona’s physician-dry sense of humor plays well in his new Airstream lifestyle.

Rhamses II Monument

His work – opportunistic, yet contemplative – ranges between high-kitsch and low-art.

Nighthawks – Edward Hopper
Christina’s World – Andrew Wyeth

His predatory dadaist style drives it’s stakes into easy prey like Whistler’s Mother and Blue Boy …

Whistler’s Mother – James McNeill Whistler
Blue Boy – Thomas Gainsborough

… and some tough customers too, like Edvard Munch and Goya

Scream – Edvard Munch
El Quitasol – Goya

If some are compelled to dismiss a genuine DiBona as art-bombing or simple mash-ups then, nothing to see here.

But, expect DiBona fans to call out critics as jerks if they do not, at least, acknowledge skill and expertise before they move along and, hopefully, slip on a steaming pile of flamingo scat.

What a Surprise – Art Frahm
Colored Landscape with Aquatic Birds – Jean Metzinger

Iconic images from the masters of the renaissance and impressionist period dominate DiBona’s work.

Tutt ‘Art – John Ottis Adams
Two Women washing clothes – Daniel Ridgway Knight
Summer 1909 – Frank Weston Benson
Wheat Field with Cypress – Van Gogh
Leda and the Swan – Correggio
Les Oréades – William Adolphe Bouguereau
Wheat Field Under Thunderclouds – Van Gogh
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Johannes Vermeer
Sunday on La Grande Jatte – Georges Seurat
David and Bathsheba – Seder Olam
Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette – Auguste Renoir
Diana and Callisto – Titian
Bathers – Edward Cucuel
Au Verger- Edmund Charles Tarbell
Bathers at Asnieres – Seurat
Bluebells – Alma Tadema

But he doesn’t always camp there. He’s also known to hitch-up to epocal photographic images …

Shrine Drive Through Tree
Papal Blessing
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Mount Williamson – Ansel Adams
V-J Day “The Kiss” 1945 – Alfred Eisenstaedt
George Carlin
Lucy and Desi Road trip
Life is a Picnic – Pépé Smit
Albert Einstein
Breaking Bad upgrades to an Airstream
Airstream Road
Civil War
Steve Jobs Airstream wisdom

The moon landing, a favorite point of interest.

Luna Luna Palooza
All the comforts of home
The perfect campsite with a view, at last

Frank keeps a vast file containing thousands of images, each competing for his attention until he takes fancy – usually while riding his bicycle or walking Rosie in the park or during a Happy Hour with Debbie.

I’m holding out for a Flemish floral one of these days, or perhaps one of those massive presepi scenes in Naples, Italy. Ah, if only the artist would withdraw himself from his current exploitations …

The Private Life of Helen of Troy
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Flat Tire – Art Frahm

DiBona’s work – while not oblivious to American iconography of manifest destiny and western expansion –

First Thanksgiving – Jean Louis Gerome Ferris
Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap – George Caleb Bingham

… makes a deliberate leap into the universal idea that if all individuals – right from the get-go – were equipped with a shiny moving castle of their own …

6th Century BC Pitsa Panel Painting
Anasazi Ridge Petroglyphs
Recently discovered art of ancient Egypt
Cortez and Montezuma at Mexican Temple
Cro Magnon Artist – Charles R. Knight

… what a wonderful world it would be!

Frank and Debbie DiBona the very day they bought their Airstream “Diva”

Frank DiBona’s Flickr account where you can see all of Frank’s creations

20 thoughts on “Diva Ex Machina

    1. Hey Larry! I have no idea … But I would imagine that Frank has high-resolution images. He might do custom work for a fee, but I don’t know.

  1. Great post. Love it. Love seeing everything Frank does. If I had to name a favorite, it would be the Two Davids. It just makes me laugh!

  2. My favorite is usually the next one he does– he has a delightfully unpredictable eye! Meanwhile, I’m sorry you didn’t include Frank’s most controversial image, the Two Brides. It was the image that launched a ginormous website.

  3. Frank is a rock star. My favorite was a Tom Jones he did by request but all his work is fabulous

  4. As one who plays with PhotoShop a little I can tell you that the effort and skill that Frank puts into these pieces is second to none. Well done Frank and congratulations.

  5. Here’s what I adore about Frank’s work: he reminds us to look at beautiful art. I’ll often peruse Frank’s featured artist’s scope of work. Better still, his range keeps us on our toes, from pin-ups to the Pope he conveys on “paper” what all Airstream Addicts inherently know-even the best things in life are better with an Airstream.

    Finally, and most seriously, my favorite piece: Two Brides. This is the piece that attracted me to his work, better still, it creates conversation around a topic that should be discussed — wait, maybe it needs no discussion — just acceptance. Love is love. We are all on a journey, sharing it with whomever makes us feel safe, happy, and loved is the truest of blessings. Perhaps this is why we name our silver companions.

    Thank you for the great profile. And thank you Frances.

    1. We’d seen the Two Brides photo but had no idea the image was a Di Bona work. Same-sex weddings are routine for us, and as newbies, we missed the Airstream Addicts history there. Now, we are educated!

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