Phil Stein's Streets
May 8 - June 27, 2009
Exhibited alongside The Darwin Shrines, was Phil Stein's series Streets comprised of multiple layer photographic collages. Stein began work on his series of three-dimensional fragmented compositions of street scenes in 2004. He is heavily influenced by what he calls the fragmented nature of American culture illustrated by the use of multiple imagery, visual and musical sampling, multitasking, constant interruption, and the immediacy of change. Stein's unique method of creation involves mounting photographs in combinations and layers to create cohesive yet visually "pixilated" images, apropos of those elements of society Stein is influenced by.
In stark contrast to Walter Nelson's work, are the images of Phil Stein. As a photographer based out of Bethleham, Pennsylvania, Stein makes his living primarily in the advertising business and has been exhibitint his fine art photographs since 2004 in galleries in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, and London. At the age of twelve, Stein began private studies of 'classical math, geometry, drawing, painting, and sculpture' which he paid for by being a janitor. In order to start his career, Stein worked night shifts in factories while pursuing freelance corporate photography during the day. An abiding interest in New York's Chelsea neighborhood and it's arts district led him to the process of making multiple image collages of the urban landscape. About his unique interpretation of New York street scenes Stein has stated, "As a kid I loved Cubism and Neo Placticism, the work of artists such as Piet Mondrian. Today, the internet has completely replaced TV and print media. I'm influenced by the random visual fragmentation that occasionally occurs in live streams and video downloads. My Streets series explores various themes of image reconstruction based on common algorithmic accidents."
As a unique element of Phil Stein's Streets exhibition at [Artspace] at Untitled, the artist came to Oklahoma City and photographed streets in both the downtown area and Untitled's surrounding neighborhood. Applying his muliple image process, he then created a video presentation of the Oklahoma City images to be shown in the gallery along with his New York street photographs. The proximity to the gallery further defines what influences these particular images and the immediacy of the presentation adds yet another layer to Stein's level of communication with the audience.