Josh Stein's metallic inks and acrylics on canvas delight and perplex, moving between the worlds of solidity and abstraction.
My current work is driven by a key question: can Platonic ideals be made manifest in ink and acrylic on canvas? The rest is by turns pretty interesting, trippy, and weird visual speculation. The resulting “color-blocking” is a mischievous way to see the world, allowing a washing away of grim realities into a purer, more inherently positive realm. It’s an arrangement of return to childhood’s wisdom: delight in imagery itself. Equally, the repurposing of mediums intended for mass production--metallic inks and acrylic paints--into singular hand-drawn or -painted pieces gives me and brings to others joy, for metallics zing with a life force I have not found elsewhere in other mediums. As such, these are primal works focusing on vision, order, and patterning, the metallics creating a deliberate shimmering effect, necessitating multiple viewpoints to appreciate fully and requiring an active participation in the art’s presencing, which is why my most abstract of forms come alive on the canvas, imbued with an incomparable, unique energy.
Josh Stein is a lifelong multi-mode creative artist, musician, writer, teacher, 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; he brings his 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.