21 Under 31 | David Stein

PROMISE OF A NEW DAY, OIL, 16 x 20.
PROMISE OF A NEW DAY, OIL, 16 x 20.

BORN: Chicago, IL.

ART EDUCATION: Self-taught.

STYLE: Highly detailed, bizarre narrative.

MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK: “I start paintings without preconceived ideas, and then I basically make a mess on the panel and pull images from the mess.”

FIRST ART SALE: “A picture of an Iron Maiden character for $5 when I was in seventh grade.”

SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: “I would grow my beard out and work on a tugboat.”

OTHER PASSIONS: “I’m co-artistic director of a dance company, Hot Little Hands, with my girlfriend, Suniti Dernovsek, who is a choreographer and dancer.”

BIGGEST FEAR: “I fear walking into a gallery for my opening reception and seeing everybody laughing and pointing while telling me they always thought my work was awful. I usually have this dream right before an opening.”

QUIRKIEST TRAIT: “I have a tendency to talk to myself while painting.”

FAVORITE STUDIO MUSIC: National Public Radio. “And lately I’m listening to the band June of 44.”

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: “Be nice.”

FAVORITE ARTWORK BY ANOTHER ARTIST: A PIRATE’S TREASURE DREAM by Todd Schorr.

PRICE RANGE: $500 to $10,000.

NEXT BIG GOAL: “I have a solo show at Mark Woolley Gallery in October.”

CREATIVE SPARK: Hiking and bike rides. “I always keep a notebook in my pocket in case I get a random attack of good ideas.”

I’LL KNOW I’VE MADE IT WHEN: “When the anxiety is gone.”

GALLERIES: Mark Woolley Gallery, Portland, OR; Davidson Contemporary, Seattle, WA; www.davidstein-art.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31″ feature article in September 2008