Galeria Sabay

June 1, 2016 - July 27, 2016
75-19 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373,
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Sixteen smaller works from the Response to Machiavelli series are on view at the Galeria Sabay (well -- a Thai restaurant, to be honest) on Broadway in Elmhurst, four blocks from my apartment.  I just wheeled them down and threw them on the wall, with the aid of curator Vernita Semac, who doubles as the gallery director of Viridian Artists in Chelsea, and who is a long-time permformer and visual artist in SOHO.  

These paintings from the Response to Machiavelli project explore the negative social and political energies that make it impossible for us – as a country and a world – to successfully master such pressing concerns as global warming, homelessness, institutionalized violence and other issues. 

Niccolò Machiavelli (d. 1527) proposed in his book The Prince, that the “ends justify the means”: any manner of attaining power is justified, provided that it leads to victory.  The paintings expose the spiritually immature and destructive energies that too-often rule in the Machiavellian scrum of the socio-political sphere. 

These works are one visual component of a larger activist project which not only explores the influence of the medieval social philosopher on American politics, but also offers specific “responses”, in the hope of ameliorating this corrosive energy. 

Response to Machiavelli also includes the Cousins Public Art Project (installed in Tempe, AZ and Silver Spring, MD) which explores the shared wisdom hidden at the core of all religious paths and another art series, Response to Machiavelli abstract works, which highlights great, morally-centered social thinkers such as Meister Eckhart, Gandhi, Chuang Tzu, al-Ghazali, Baal Shem Tov and many others. 

It also comprises my writing, with a book of social philosophy (Machiavelli in America, Algora Publisher, NY, 2014); Emission (concerning global warming and our inability to deal successfully with it), a theater piece developed at Dixon Place and then performed at Theater for the New City's "Dream Up Festival" (September 2015) and Duck, a theatrical piece exploring a CIA worker who lost faith in his work.