Posted April 24, 2017
If you’d rather listen to the podcast, click the play button.
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.
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 …
… and Diva, his 2008 Airstream.
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 …
…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.
It’s all been going quite well.
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 …”
…dabbling with a purpose.
Airstreamers know that every dark shadow following you from behind is only your future Airstream trying to find you …
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.
Frank DiBona’s physician-dry sense of humor plays well in his new Airstream lifestyle.
His work – opportunistic, yet contemplative – ranges between high-kitsch and low-art.
His predatory dadaist style drives it’s stakes into easy prey like Whistler’s Mother and Blue Boy …
… and some tough customers too, like Edvard Munch and 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.
Iconic images from the masters of the renaissance and impressionist period dominate DiBona’s work.
But he doesn’t always camp there. He’s also known to hitch-up to epocal photographic images …
The moon landing, a favorite point of interest.
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 …
DiBona’s work – while not oblivious to American iconography of manifest destiny and western expansion –
… 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 …
… what a wonderful world it would be!
Frank DiBona’s Flickr account where you can see all of Frank’s creations