Joseph Ari Aloi's 1,000 Mornings
by Kurt Mcvey
September 7, 2007
“It’s a coffee, a cigarette, and something that really sustains my butterfly system,” says Joseph Ari Aloi of his morning ritual from inside his quiet, sun-bathed Fort Greene, Brooklyn apartment, where he’s lived since January. An in-demand tattoo artist (JK5) for over two decades and illustrated man in his own right, Aloi will be stepping earnestly into the percolating New York contemporary art dimension September 7th at Chelsea’s Gallery 88 ½ for the intimate space’s first, full-on solo art exhibition to date.
Though discussing an artist’s breakfast habits is a trademark Warhol Interview icebreaker, in this particular case, the talking point is considerably more relevant. Aloi’s show, for one, is called 1,000 Mornings, a direct allusion to poet Mary Oliver’s sparse but essential work of the same name. The poem was put on Aloi’s radar by his birth mother (Aloi was adopted), who reached out, somewhat out of the blue, with a powerful, poetic letter in her own right when her son was still a wayward undergrad at RISD in the early ‘90s (they were connected by the same doctor who supervised his delivery).