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Unshackled Painting

Ira Stein

United States

Painting, Oil on Canvas

Size: 36 W x 72 H x 2 D in

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About The Artwork

I found Lea online. She's an escort. She loved my art project and wanted to participate. Lea became an escort because she would go out to dinner with a guy and was expected to have sex afterwards. It wasn’t working. “Why have sex with a guy just because he took me to dinner? I’m worth so much more than a meal and conversation. I’m going to charge them." She says, "I love the power, I love the money, and I love the sex." She feels unshackled and in control. Let me ask you, Would you go to an escort? Would you turn a blind eye if your husband saw an escort? ______________________________________________________ "Art Review: Painting Model’s Secrets" February 22, 2016 “It starts with an interview….” is how the reclusive Los Angeles figurative painter, Ira Stein, begins all of his art projects. For Stein, inspiration comes from the chemistry of deep interchange between him and his model. The relationship between the two develops based on the mutual understanding to be brutally sincere with each other. Out of this arrangement, a community of women have opened up to Stein to share their horrific experiences and hidden desires. From these sessions, Stein paints their suffering and compulsions. According to Stein, he could only truly see the models once he had listened to their stories. Stein’s raison d’etre is showcasing the effects of not ‘fucking wisely.’ For him, this is the deciding action that will govern the future. Stein firmly believes that genetic traits dictate the person we become. According to Stein, it is our genes that navigate our life choices. He cannot understand why anyone would deny this fact. To him, environment plays a lesser role in determining our behaviors. To prove it, Stein has spent the last twenty-five years painting and listening to women talk about their lives, their private pain and their secret desires. He is convinced that it all comes down to a person’s genes and sees his artwork as a medium to question the political correctness of succeeding the power of genetics to societal influences in determining the life we lead. Stein is adamant that viewers of his works ponder the questions he includes with each work. The inclusion of a textual guide to comprehend the complexity of his work is an integral part of his production. The questions serve to enforce the power of the artist to drive the formal and conceptual appreciation of his work. Just as his artistic process begins with an interview, the work now becomes complete when Stein can interrogate his audience about the nature of humankind as seen through his fractured emblematic women. This work is the result of an inquisitive mind and an uncontrollable desire to paint taboo subjects for public consumption. His purpose is to question authority and conventional wisdom that steers public opinion away from genetic essentialism. To some, his approach may be seen as exploitative or as objectifying vulnerable women but it is important to consider that the models are eager to participate in this art project. Perhaps for them it is a cathartic experience to share their secrets with a male artist? Stein does not delve too deep to find out their motivations for sitting for their portrait. He is more concerned about discovering the secret identity behind the superficial appearance, social status, and profession."

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Oil on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:36 W x 72 H x 2 D in

Shipping & Returns

Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

Ira Stein’s works confront issues that are difficult to talk about – sexual and physical abuse, social responsibility and what he feels is the dumbing down of society. As you will see, his works are bound together by his fascination with genetics and how it determines “all the shit you do.” His mantra, “Fuck Wisely” is a raw summation of his perspective on how society is evolving. Stein is a trained artist, a Vietnam veteran, former commercial airline pilot, and was a renown jeweler. With such an interesting and varied personal background, his works convey a well-rounded, multi-dimensional and inventive interpretation of the world surrounding him. His sculptures, mixed-media collages and figurative paintings all provide a glimpse into the psyche of an artist grasping with the notion of genetic essentialism viewed from the perspective of the troubled, vulnerable, and erotic female. Stein lives and works in Brentwood, California.

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