Freefall – A perspective and commentary on art, global and environmental issues–Part 1

by Joe Carlisi

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of art and commentary by local painter, Joe Carlisi. Joe has lived all over the world and currently lives in Waikiki.

‘A New Earth’ – A woman sits naked, empty and fearless with a leopard peacefully draped over her lap. The leopard’s potential ferocity is not a problem. She is not prey but rather a creature coexisting peacefully, free from the fears that separate people from nature. Sitting at the portal of a painting that unfolds from a new land. An intense, bright sun rising behind the skeletal silhouette of a massive tree representing the past illuminates a new landscape. A painting charged with new energy delivered by a growing river of light, infusing the barren earth.


People are scared, anxious, confused and depressed. There is a good reason. The world as we have known it is unfolding at a frighteningly accelerated pace.

Let’s start with the fundamental set of elements or the platform on which everything . . . literally everything. . . rests. The host environment. . planet Earth, a sentient and living platform that supports all life as we know it. Something has changed and continues to change at the deepest level. Dimensional. Radical. The limited predictability of nature’s cycles that we have always relied on and shaped our lives is gone.

Free fall!

Nature abhors chaos but, at the same time, it is in a constant state of flux, continually unfolding in an endless process. Human activity has thrown the fundamental patterns of nature on this planet out of balance. We are experiencing the undeniable collapse that results. Turn on the TV.

The one constant, universal, all-encompassing law of nature is that all natural systems seek balance. What appears as chaos is the transitory freefall of natural elements reconfiguring themselves towards a new equilibrium. Change and a new balance will necessarily come.

Corn . . . hey, we want to go back to how it was. . . back to the good old days when we could do whatever we wanted. Shake blindly, stumble, never skip a beat. Driven by the fictional belief that we are special. . . superior and above nature. . . gifted with an entire world to treat as our personal warehouse of goods to consume, ravage and annihilate casually at our whim.

Yeah, let’s get back to work and finish the job… on the eve of our own carefully engineered extinction. The good old days.

But wait. Maybe there is an opportunity for us in this remake. Maybe a moment to let go of the fictions and delusions that have brought us to this point. It’s time to kiss. . . revel in the change. Why not? The old shit clearly failed. . . Verry much.

Following art. Art can shake your ass. . . stops, if only for a second, the usually concentrated consciousness and waits for familiar and obsolete visual stimuli.

Art is a lens through which we view the world. Not necessarily the world we expect…but a world beyond the familiar and the explainable that opens our consciousness to the magic of the unknown.


Joseph Carlisi – Biography

Born and raised in New York City, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from Hunter College, City University of New York, then pursued graduate studies in philosophy and artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the mentorship of Marvin Minsky. Joseph worked as a part-time content and copy editor for Harvard University Press (science and medicine) while attending MIT

After ten years as a college professor, researcher, and administrator, he started and ran an advertising/PR company in San Diego, California that handled a wide range of business accounts. On the academic side, he has published a series of seven articles on animal behavior for Harvard Magazine and two books: “A Guide to Personal Power” and more recently “Playing god on the eve of extinction”.

Joseph Carlisi creates oil paintings on canvas that can be described as vivid, surreal and unexpected. His paintings have been exhibited and sold in: Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Tokyo, Yokohama, Amsterdam, Berlin and Salvador Brazil.

Joe’s art is available for purchase.

Contact him at [email protected]



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