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17 banal corporate commissions there was a time back in the day when one of Shapiros small geometrically derived figures would appear alone installed on Paula Coopers concrete gallery floor in a state of frozen imbalance and the piece was impossible to ignore. Joe was able to find that same sculptural mojo in the work Adrift a worthy and effective counterpoint to the behemoth of the wooden boat from the previous show. He placed this small bronze boat adrift on a sea of vertical white wall. It was for all intents and purposes a manifestation of the Life of Pi state of mind for its creator a solitary place to face demons fight the good fight and somehow against all odds maybe find his way home. As vulnerable as this sea craft appeared it was still depicted floating upright underscoring Joes inherent faith in that even under the shadow of death and despair there exists the never-ending possibility of rescue and redemption. For Joe the saving grace was that in the midst of deep pessimism and mourning he was still able to come to terms with the fact that there was too much left on land to be cherished and ultimately too much at stake to go down with the ship. What has hopefully become apparent at this juncture is that most of the work in this catalogue dedicated to 30 years of artistic activity serves as a running timeline of Zitos state of mind and preoccupations at each specific point of creation. As an artist Joe is in crowded company when it comes to using visual touchstones as a method of emotional exploration and confession. It is a common obsession amongst artists to establish a distinct language in service of an autobiographical artistic legacy a fact that binds virtually all creative output in the cabal of ego or anti-ego that is the art world. To track Joe Zitos artistic production over his lifetime is to witness a consistent and time-honored commitment to using sculpture and drawings as multiple waypoints to publically map an ongoing journey through personal tragedy emotional resurrection political consciousness philosophical exploration and a restless hunger for re-invention and re-discovery. There are identifiable periods where the focus of the work seems stylistically inseparable one piece dependent on the other finding a harmonic convergence in his nine one-person exhibitions since 1988. It is the age old combination of the ebb and flow of psychically connected and potentially opposing forces the laborer and the artist the evolving intellect and informed antagonist the intuitive object maker and self-conscious art historian the misanthrope and the dedicated family man. Not that Joe has patiently reconciled any of this without real conflict but the rub whether or not he wishes to admit it is that