10 already familiar with the fabled Lipton interviews and was game as he had been in the past when it comes to intimate inquiry though with a caveat that none of it could be shared. He listened as carefully to his own answers as I did bemused by some aggressively definitive about others delivering each almost like a challenge with a decisive and self-confident authority. Some of his choices now listed with his permission are worth noting for the record if only because they were so unexpected a favorite poet was e.e. cummings a favorite painter was Albert Pinkham Ryder and amongst the most important American legal reforms he chose the child labor laws enacted by Theodore Roosevelt. The unexpected aside it came as no surprise that with a daughter named Scout he selected as his penultimate hero Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. As countless devoted readers already know Atticus is a man of quiet resolute integrity coupled with an intelligence that serves a deep empathic heart for the human condition regardless of race or gender. It is a book that brilliantly profiles a man not only of personal faith humor and familial devotion but a man who is at the same time a solitary soul filled with a pathos that comes from having clear eyes and a full heart in a southern community poisoned by prejudice. For Joe - and he is hardly alone - the figure of Atticus Finch is an unimpeachable beacon of good intent and the physical embodiment of a man whose moral compass is set in the fixed direction of living a good and principled life. In short a life worth dying for. The creative byproduct of a life lived with this rigorous tenor is often the stuff that creates the very culture that we clamor to consume. Its honest. Its relevant. Its self-reflective. In candid and self-effacing moments Joe has told me more than once that he doesnt believe that his art or any art for that matter can and will change the world. By the same token he is the first to admit that in the act of making art he has better been able to confront the issues of death and the fear of personal loss that preoccupy him. That alone seems worth the price of admission and Joe seems aware that he is fortunate to have found a language that he continues to learn in his search of increased fluency. As much as his artistic language can be described as a deeply and often opaque personal exercise his artwork also displays a desire to connect with a shared public consciousness sometimes to a fault. There is an undeniable intention to find a more common less complex vocabulary through a lexicon of recognizable and often appropriated images which by default has the potential to reach a wider more eclectic and dare I say less aesthetically informed audience.