Stein Creates

Artist Statement


In my current work, I find myself drawn to the use of metallic, iridescent, and fluorescent colors in combination with textures that lift the paint from the canvas, creating what I call deep patterns, almost Jungian in a way because they seem to tap into something deep within us as people.  I strive for my optical and geometric work not to be “just wallpaper” as so much in these genres has often become.  Rather, particularly in my agitprop and my Four Elements series, I seek to force a reckoning with the artwork as a presence unto itself, and the use of these more exotic acrylic mediums really produces a moment of active tension both in person and via digital reproduction.  I am continuing to explore where the idea of line itself creates or demarcates what the eye experiences as that is the essence of my work: fooling the eye into seeing things it never imagined could exist, and then going beyond fooling into willing participation in a different way to see the world around us, externally and internally.


As such, these are primal works focusing on vision, order, and patterning, the palette-knifed metallics creating a deliberate shimmering effect, necessitating multiple viewpoints to appreciate fully and requiring an active participation, which is why my most abstract of forms come alive on the canvas, imbued with an incomparable, uniquely living energy.  I am thus attempting to re-orient what "wine country" art can and should be.  Rather than tourist-driven imagery, I bring more formal approaches to the surroundings and equally allow them to inspire me in ways both direct and indirect.  Optical Art is participatory--the viewer must contribute, and does so individually and idiosyncratically--in order for the pieces to function.  That looseness constrained by interaction is the possibility-filled space I am exploring and seek to showcase.

Recent Public Work



2021 Nominated, Best of the Net Anthology, for cover art, by 805 Lit + Art

2021 November Featured Artist, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA


Public Installations

2019-2021 Two Moving Parts Five-Piece Installation, TEAM Lewis, San Diego, CA


Solo Exhibitions

2021 36 X 36 = 1296, Napa County Library, Napa, CA 

2021 Works in Two Lights, Doré Art Collective, Atlanta, GA

2021 To Infinity Beyond and at Home, Victory Point Cafe, Berkeley, CA

2021 Recent Fluorescents & Metallics, Krealyx, Madrid, SP

2020 Recent OpArt & Geometric Work, Napa County Library, Napa, CA


Duo and Group Exhibitions

2021 September, MUSA Exhibitions, Caffe 817, Oakland, CA

2021 9th Annual Coaster Show, Gallery 30 South, Pasadena, CA

2021 Kaleidoscope, Gallery House, Palo Alto

2021 Fragments, Milcon Gallery, Online 

2021 The Art of Life, The Little Pink Gallery of Big Ideas, San Antonio, TX

2021 August, MUSA Exhibitions, Hofkuche, Oakland, CA

2021 Some Like It Hot, Gallery House, Palo Alto

2021 Loop, The Art Orb, Denton, TX

2021 Transformation, Connect.Faith, Online

2021 July, MUSA Exhibitions, Hofkuche, Oakland, CA

2021 Going Places, Gallery House Palo Alto

2021 Jewish Authenticity and Identity, Jewish Artists of the National Capital Region & DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, DC (curated by Ori Z. Soltes [catalogue])

2021 Light, CICA Museum, Seoul, SK (catalogue)

2021 Elements, Milcon Gallery, Online

2021 Joy of Living, Krealyx, Madrid, SP

2021 Happy 2021, Krealyx, Madrid, SP

2020 A Lot Can Happen In a Year, d | a | c -- design art concepts, Miami, FL

2020 Reigning Chaos, Sarah J Wilson Art Collective, Chicago, IL

2020 Creative Resilience: Art & Mental Health in the Time of Coronavirus, Fresh A.I.R Gallery, Columbus, OH

2020 Artistic Creation in Times of Covid-19, Diafano Art, Madrid, SP

2020 8th Annual Coaster Show, Gallery 30 South, Pasadena, CA

2020 Quo Vadis, Van Der Plas Gallery, NYC, NY 

2020 An Overwhelming Experience: The Human -  Earth Relationship,  d | a | c -- design art concepts, Miami, FL

2020 Covid Group Show, Arts Council Napa Valley, Napa, CA

2019 Sanctuary Cities and the Politics of the American Dream, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT

2019 Ish Arts and Culture Festival Juried Competition, Ish Festival, Cincinnati, OH


In Print

2021 “Silent Scream from the Quarantine Days I (It Is What It Is)” and “Silent Scream from the Quarantine Days II (Trump Lied 180000+ Died),”  Maythorn Magazine, Issue 2, Autumn 2021

2021 “Caged Trails I (Tapework I),” Voleger. Literary Magazine, October 2021

2021 “Foreshocked,” The Healing Muse: A Journal of Literary and Visual Arts, Volume 21, October 2021

2021 “To Defy The Laws of Tradition,” The Blahck Sheep, September 2021

2021 Featured Artist, Doré Art Collective’s Volume 01, September 2021

2021 Featured Artist, LitStream Magazine’s Summer 2021 Issue, August 2021

2021 “Some Preoccupations of Otherwise Unoccupied Spaces,” Abstract: Contemporary Expressions, Summer 2021

2021 “Recent Work,” Salt ‘n’ Sauce Magazine Issue 1, Summer 2021

2021 “Hooked on Necropolis,” NonBinary Review’s “Apocalypse” Issue, Summer 2021

2021 Cover Art: “Coming Down on You, Coming Down on Me,” 45th Parallel Literary Magazine 2021 Issue, Summer 2021

2021 Back Cover: “Don’t Look Back; You Can Never Look Back,” Stonecoast Review Issue 15,  June 1st, 2021

2021 Cover Art: “Mosaic I,” 805 Lit + Art’s Love + Pride LGBTQ+ Issue, June 1st, 2021

2021 “January and February Work,” Novus Literary and Arts Journal Spring 2021 Issue, May 6th, 2021

2021 “Coming Down on You, Coming Down on Me” and “Special Circumstances,” Apricity Magazine Fifth Edition, Spring 2021

2021 “Desert Bloom I,” “Ever Green,” and “Do the Worm on the Acropolis,” Salmon Creek Journal 2021, Spring 2021

2021 “Current Work II,” The Showbear Family Circus, April 13th, 2021

2021 “Current Work I,” The Showbear Family Circus, April 10th, 2021

2021 “Layering It On in Napa, California: Josh Stein,” Bourgeon Online, March 31st, 2021

2021 “The Truth Is Out There I” and “The Truth Is Out There II,” Montana Mouthful’s “Out of This World” Issue, March 15th, 2021

2020 “Silent Scream from the Quarantine Days I (It Is What It Is), ”Apero Fine Art,December 2020

2020 “Silent Scream from the Quarantine Days I (It Is What It Is),” Sheepshead Review Fall 2020 Issue, December 2020

2020 “Unlocking II,” in “Artists respond to Covid-19: An online gallery from Arts Council Napa Valley,” Napa Valley Register, October 28th, 2020

2020 “Blake's Riffle,” Whitefish Review Issue 25, September 2020

2020 Featured Profile, The KNACK Magazine Issue 62, June 2020

2020 “The Four Elements VII,” Phoebe Journal Issue 49.2, May 2020

2020 “The Four Elements VIII,” Sheepshead Review Spring 2020 Issue, April 2020

2020 Cover and Interior Art: “Blake's Riffle” and “Wrent II,” The Freshwater Review Volume 23, April 2020

2020 “The Four Elements VIII,” 3Elements Literary Review Issue 26: Spring 2020, April 2020

2020 Cover art: “‘Camp’ Views I: Texas Border 2019,” Gravitas Poetry Volume 19, Issue 1, January 2020

2020 “‘Camp’ Views II: Arizona Border 2019,” Wordpeace Volume 5, Issue 1, Winter/Spring 2020

2020 “Lenticular II,” 3Elements Literary Review Issue 25: Winter 2020, January 2020

2020 Featured Profile, Diáfano Magazine Volume II, Issue 2, January 2020

2020 Selections from the “Camp” AgitProp Series, Riza Press’s Multimedia Poetry and Art Journal, January 2020


Gallery Representation

Artios Gallery, New York, NY

d | a | c -- design art concepts, Miami, FL

Five 3 Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

Gallery House, Palo Alto (Exhibiting Member)

ROY G BIV Gallery, Columbus, OH (Member)



RAD -- Rail Arts District, Napa, CA

Arts Benicia, Benicia, CA


ARTIST Biography


I am a lifelong multi-mode creative artist, musician, writer, professor, and adult beverage maker. With formal training in calligraphy, graphic design, and color work; more than two decades as a researcher, teacher, and writer in cultural analysis in the vein of the Birmingham and Frankfurt Schools; and a decade and a half as a commercial artist and designer for multiple winery clients; I bring my influences of Pop art, Tattoo flash and lining techniques, and Abstract Surrealism and Expressionism to the extreme edge where graphic design and calligraphy meet the Platonic theory of forms. The resulting metallic inks and acrylics on canvas delight and perplex, moving between the worlds of solidity and abstraction.