Geoffrey Stein, Irrational Exuberance & Perceptual Painting

Geoffrey Stein is a New York City artist painting figurative work that explores the tension between abstraction and realism.

I am a figurative painter who prefers to work from life when possible. I paint to find out what I think about the world; to discover the things I do not have words for. I savor the slips of the hand that express one’s unconscious feelings. I am interested in the tension between abstraction and realism. I do not want to make an academic copy of the model or a photorealistic illustration. My paintings explore the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen.

I began my “Irrational Exuberance” portrait series in 2009 when the US economy seemed to be in danger of shutting down. People were being buffeted by forces beyond their control that they could not understand. Scary times. I started the portraits of actors involved in the credit crunch by gathering and collaging material from the subjects’ worlds: for Madoff, the legal complaints against him, and text from the Wall Street Journal for Greenspan, Geithner, and Bernake. When the Dodd-Frank Act was passed, I returned to the series from a new perspective, using text from the bill to create a portrait of Elizabeth Warren.

– Geoffrey Stein


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You can see more art from Geoffrey Stein at

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