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9 of sorts and a continued source of deep personal pride. He was raised along with his younger brother by Blaise and Bunny Zito parents whom he adored and idolized from his earliest days until their final breath. His father an imposing but friendly presence in the numerous photo albums found in him home was a graduate of The School of Cartoonists and Illustrators later more ambitiously named The School of Visual Arts and made a modest to good living designing schoolbooks. A beautifully rendered highly realistic painting by Blaise of what looks like a Swiss town with an imposing background of heavily impastoed mountains currently hangs prominently on a wall in Joes cabin in the Catskills. The visual arts were a palpable presence in the Zito home an ambient sidebar for Joe until his interest blossomed into a full fever with the serendipitous encounter of an Andrew Wyeth catalogue that arrived by mail one day in 1971. Long before his own SVA diploma and the independence garnered from an extended trip to study the masters in Europe this new interest in art undoubtedly caused a bit of a schizophrenic existence because it was in Sheepshead Bay that he learned to balance an unbridled passion for the unfathomable depths of art history with his posse of close-knit neighborhood friends a group of boys who demanded complete allegiance and stood together for the territory and street credibility that defined their communal identity. It was the 70s in New York and the cracked concrete corners were tough and the air filled with the stench of economic and racial tension. Joe struggled to find a way to accommodate both of these seemingly contradictory worlds approaching each with a comparable sense of righteousness curiosity and unimpeachable loyalty. This tug of war between these often radically divergent twin pillars of perception informed and fueled his intellect fired up his angst and created the conflict which ultimately found a cathartic outlet through his art first as a youthful figurative painter evolving later through a rigorous work ethic and an aggressive regiment of self-education and formal instruction into the sculptor that he is today. In the early preparation for this assignment it occurred to me that the questionnaire famously completed by Marcel Proust then simplified and subsequently popularized by James Lipton of The Actors Studio fame might be an effective way in which to gather more information about the world according to Joseph Zito. An admittedly imperfect verbal Rorschach test the process can still provide distinct clues as to creative impulse and personal priorities. Due to a deep knowledge of the history of film Joe was