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



2022 May Featured Artist, Artios Gallery, New York, NY

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

2021 December Featured Artist, Artios Gallery, New York, NY

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


Public Installations

2022 7 + 1 = 14,904 Eight-Piece Installation, Midpen Media Center, Palo Alto, CA

2022 Soil Sample collaborative video and sculpture installation with Shayna

         Strype, SVA Chelsea Studios, NYC, NY

2022 4 x 48 = 192 Four-Piece Installation, Midpen Media Center, Palo Alto, CA

2021-2022 Pebbles Installation, Midpen Media Center, Palo Alto, CA

2019-2022 Two Moving Parts Five-Piece Installation, TEAM Lewis, San Diego, CA


Solo Exhibitions

2022 Two Lights, Gallery 1064, Seattle, WA

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

2022 Soul Garden II, Gallery 2727, Berkeley, CA

2022 Polysemy, Culturally Arts Collective, Online

2022 Worlds Revealed, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA

2022 Waking Dreams 2022, Golden Guy Gallery, Burning Man, Blackrock, NV

2022 Open Studios 2022, SVA Chelsea Studios, NYC, NY

2022 Woven Light, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA

2022 Tropical Art, δε Curated, Online

2022 Broken Mirrors, Culturally Arts Collective, Online

2022 Hue, Msanii HOUS, Carrollton, TX (curated by Dr. Valerie Gillespie)

2022 California Dreaming, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA

2022 The Art of Earth Day, OxBow Commons Community, Napa, CA

2022 Spring Fever, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA

2022 The Broadcasting Love, Live Art Show, Stein’s Hollow Gallery, Chula Vista,


2022 Energy, Gallery 1064, Seattle, WA

2022 Spark, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA

2022 Gallery Opening, The Crucible 716 Art Collective, Buffalo, NY

2022 Art of a Community, Arts Benicia, Benicia, CA

2021 Heroes and Legends,, Online

2021 Small Works 2021, ROY G BIV Gallery, Columbus, OH

2021 Splendid, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA

2021 Pure Paint, Arts Benicia, Benicia, CA (curated by Nicholas Wilton)

2021 October, MUSA Exhibitions, Anaviv, Richmond, CA

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

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

2021 Kaleidoscope, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA

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, CA

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, CA

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

2022 “Roadside Picnic” and “Hooked on Necroplis,” Ugly Duckling Press’s Second

         Factory Issue 4, December

2022 “Slamdance the Cosmopolis,” Bombay Gin Issue 47, Summer

2022 “Meet Josh Stein,” Canvas Rebel, May

2022 Artist Portfolio, Artios Gallery’s Extravaganza of Creativity: 2019-2022, May

2022 “Pebbles XIII,” The Ear Issue 25, May

2022 Selections from “Pebbles” series, Modern Renaissance Issue 11, April

2022 “Proximatic Layout,” Salon des Refuse’s Detritus Spring 2022 Issue, April

2022 “Buck Rogers,” Zanna Magazine Issue 11, March

2022 “Ever Green (UV),” Newfound Journal, Volume 13, Issue 1, March

2022 “Caged Trails I,” “Caged Trails II,” “Pop Horizon I,” and “To Defy the Laws of

         Tradition,” The Melon Factory Issue 1, March

2022 Portfolio, The Uncoiled Magazine Issue 2, February 6th

2022 “Isinglassed Pulse,” 805 Lit + Art, February 2nd

2022 “Ever Green,” Montana Mouthful’s “Lost and Found” Issue, February 21

2021 Featured Profile, The KNACK Magazine Issue 73, October

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

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

         Volume 21, October

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

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

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

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

         Contemporary Expressions, Summer

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

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

2021 Cover Art: “Coming Down on You, Coming Down on Me,” 45th Parallel

         Literary Magazine 2021 Issue, Summer

2021 Back Cover: “Don’t Look Back; You Can Never Look Back,” Stonecoast

         Review Issue 15,  June 1st

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

2021 “January and February Work,” Novus Literary and Arts Journal Spring 2021

         Issue, May 6th

2021 “Coming Down on You, Coming Down on Me” and “Special Circumstances,”

         Apricity Magazine Fifth Edition, Spring

2021 “Desert Bloom I,” “Ever Green,” and “Do the Worm on the Acropolis,”

         Salmon Creek Journal 2021, Spring

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

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

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


2021 “The Truth Is Out There I” and “The Truth Is Out There II,” Montana

         Mouthful’s “Out of This World” Issue, March 15th

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


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

         Review Fall 2020 Issue, December

2020 “Unlocking II,” in “Artists respond to Covid-19: An online gallery from Arts

         Council Napa Valley,” Napa Valley Register, October 28th

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

2020 Featured Profile, The KNACK Magazine Issue 62, June

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

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

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

         Volume 23, April

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


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

         Issue 1, January

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


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

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


Gallery Representation

Artios Gallery, New York, NY

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

Five 3 Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

Gallery 1064, Seattle, WA

Gallery 2727, Berkeley, CA (Exhibiting Member)

Gallery House, Palo Alto (Exhibiting Member, Treasurer)

Nua Visual Arts Collective, Dublin, Ireland

ROY G BIV Gallery, Columbus, OH (Member)



Arts Benicia, Benicia, CA

Art Works Downtown, San Rafael, CA

Culturally Arts Collective, Austin, TX, & Washington, D.C.

RAD -- Rail Arts District, Napa, CA


Private Collections

Napa, New York City, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle

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 and fluorescent inks and acrylics on canvas delight and perplex, moving between the worlds of solidity and abstraction.