Studio Shot March 2021

“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.”

Josh Stein

Josh Stein (b. 1973, Hammonton, New Jersey; currently residing in Napa, California) is a lifelong multi-mode creative artist, musician, writer, professor with multiple advanced degrees from the University of California and the University of Liverpool, adult beverage maker, and current MFA candidate at School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Inside the studio of Nua Collective Artist Josh Stein

Josh has more than five hundreds articles in print, including monthly columns and covering a range of cultural and lifestyle issues; his artwork and copy have graced the front and back labels of dozens of releases from a myriad of Northern California wine producers; and his artwork has been nationally and internationally published numerous times and exhibited in a wide range of locations around the world, including the CICA Museum in Seoul, Korea, Adas Israel in Washington DC, Burning Man in Blackrock, Nevada, and Gallery 1064 in Seattle, amongst many others. He has had multiple solo shows in California and Washington states and has participated in numerous duo and group shows nationally and internationally.

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.

Artist Statement

My work creates unexpected moments of precariousness. I use metallic, iridescent, and fluorescent acrylics, textures that lift the paint from the canvas, and a variety of hot glues which add dimensionality to the surfaces. The goal is creating what I call deep patterns, which elicit a Jungian sense of collective knowledges and connections. I seek a reckoning with the artwork as a presence unto itself, and the use of these more “exotic” mediums in concert with natural and UV lights and self-created soundscapes produces a moment of active tension both in person and via digital reproduction.

I create work which collapses clear distinctions via aufhebung, the negation of negation: both paint and sculpture, both presence and absence, both expectation and result. Movements out of flat planes create multivalent pieces: sculptural mixed media using canvas or wood as a base for horizontal presentations, painterly mixed media intended to be hung from vertical surfaces, and modular work on multiple substrates which can combine infinitely through the structural use of magnets. The goal is the substantiation of imagination: fooling the eye into seeing things it never imagined could exist, and then going beyond to ask for willing participation in a different way of seeing the world around us, externally and internally.

Above: ‘Pop Horizon I’
Metallic, iridescent, and fluorescent acrylics on canvas, 24 x 24 in, 2021
Optical Art is participatory–the viewer must contribute, and does so individually and idiosyncratically–in order for the pieces to function.



1994    BA in English, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA

1996    MA in Critical Theory, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA

1997    MA, with honours, in Theoretical Futurisms, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

1999    ABD in Critical Theory and Causal Extrapolations, UC Riverside, Riverside, 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


Group Exhibitions:

  • 2022: Spark, Gallery House, Palo Alto, CA
  • 2022: Gallery Opening, The Crucible Art Collective 716, 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

Public Installations

  • 2021-2022: Pebbles Installation, Midpen Media Center, Palo Alto, CA
  • 2019-2022: Two Moving Parts Five-Piece Installation, TEAM Lewis, San Diego, CA
Follow Josh online:
Sign in
Cart (0)

No products in the cart. No products in the cart.