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Early in my life I established a deep commitment to divergent acts in hopes of attaining uncommon insight into the nature of reality. I utilize the power of text and compose my findings into an artistic practice as a means of sharing information; philosophical public intervention.


MIDABI, a label taken from the first two letters of each name, Michael Daniel Birnberg, was born at home, in the second floor corner apartment, at 120 Thompson Street, in SoHo, NYC

His father would recall feeling a light move through him and into his mother. His mother would experience a two hour labor and say he came out smiling. The midwife, Ron, would remain a close family friend.

Two blocks away lived his grandparents. His grandmother, a painter of female nudes. His grandfather, a Marine Corp war veteran, now an insurance executive.

One block away lived his godfathers and best friends of his grandparents, the co-founders of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

On the day of his birth his parents would take him to hear a 15 year old teacher from India speak about inner peace and self knowledge. The next day his father would go back to driving a taxi and continue primal scream therapy to address the effects of a difficult childhood and his service in Vietnam. His mother eventually returned to work as an executive secretary on Wall Street and would continue investigating the esoteric through new age mysticism and philosophy. They would both meditate an hour a day and regularly attend satsang.

At the age of 13 MIDABI began painting the undersides of tablecloths and secondhand furniture. At 15 he was making digital art on his first computer. In the summer of 1994, he began accessing altered states. On a morning after he would remark to his friends that he was no longer afraid to dance; an absolution, pivotal. It was around this time that his father handed him a book titled, The Teachings of Don Juan;

A Yaqui Way of Knowledge.

That autumn he and his parents would move to a remote part of upstate New York where he would live for two years at the top of a mountain. During this period, a thrilling and difficult perception of reality would take hold. He would develop an emotional bond with a being residing in a group of stars in the sky, and two UFO’s would come to visit him at his home. He would spend 10 days in Albany County Jail and be incorrectly diagnosed with schizophrenia. In search of a teacher to guide him, he would take a train to El Paso, TX, with $2 left in his pocket, and find himself very alone, and then cared for, with a seeming near miss of his goal. 

Not long after he would leave high school early with a GED. 


At 19 he moved to Palm Springs, CA, into the former home of his great grandmother; a painter, sculptor, and art educator.

In 2002 he began mixing his text with digital art. While living in London, at the Bucks Head, a pub in Camden Town, he would measure the walls; his first attempt at a public display. 

During his formative years in Palm Springs MIDABI would serve as a commissioner on the city sustainability commission and have a shortened run for mayor.

He would also go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies, and a master’s in Multicultural Counseling Psychology.

In 2015, after dropping out of the race for mayor, he moved back to NYC. It was there, on a snowy winter's day, gazing out the window of cafe Konditori, that he was inspired to again combine his philosophical writings with visual art. From that day he has  turned fully to that practice.





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Manhattan, NYC - Palm Springs, CA - Bombay Beach, CA - Black Rock City, NV - Miami, FL

Here you can find examples of MIDABI's contemporary  art sculpture and mural from Bombay Beach, Palm Springs, New York City, and around the world and into the metaverse. 

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