Distanced: Noah Alexander Isaac Stein

Editor Julia Alora, Art, May 22nd, 2020




“Distanced” is designed to connect artists impacted by COVID-19 with potential patrons.
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You can learn more about Noah at his website.



From the Artist:

My art is foremost a communicative process, a method of bridging the space between the viewer and the shared psychological wilderness beyond the conscious mind. This delicate spiritual terrain is navigated as a component of both viewers’ and the artist’s experience; a continuum that begins in the excitation of ecstatic experience and culminates in purposeful missives in the language of dreams and archetypes.

Through the symbolical resonance of myth, the outpourings of trance states are given forms that act as way-posts for explorations of mental spaces that are, by their nature, ephemeral. The result is a processes of delicate oil-painting combined with frenzied applications of translucent wax that transform two-dimensional images into luminescent, semi-sculptural fever dreams. Visions of change, death, and transcendence take life through a unity of opposites which underscores their implicit subjects.

As a further guide to these nebulous spaces of spirit, larger works are accompanied by written pieces which offer viewers an additional avenue of approach. The focus however is neither in explaining art, nor in illustrating ideas; it is in providing multiple pathways, that rather than overtake each other, instead cascade, together, towards a singular destination.



The Cave of Hira

             Throughout most of our waking moments we perceive the world through the lens of conceptual ideals, where classes of phenomenon are carved out of observation, and defined by the oppositional dualities we perceive in them. Through mutual opposition, atavistic unity is shattered into categorical separations of light and darkness, above and below, matter and spirit, self and not-self. While such proud towers of our own invention remain inviolate, so too must coexistence and the unity of the transcendent be hidden behind layers of conceptualization and expectation.

            However, during our moments of revelation the clarity of direct perception easily proves the fragility of separation. Free from the tangles of our own nets, a unity of opposites becomes a direct experience as the basis of division is released.  Like sand, divisions that were perceived as immutable seemingly fall away in the face of a greater truth. We may instead find ourselves confronted by a darkness that coexists with the light, with a fire that burns but does not consume, and with a unity of the divine with the material.

            That such a coexistence is possible however does not reveal itself through an overcoming of the natural law we had perceived as absolute, but rather through a realization of the subjective nature of its delineation. The basis of their truth was built upon an altar of straw, but the overcoming of it is not accomplished by either burning or further building, but rather by seeing something else altogether: that the idol was built from our own hands, and that the manifest truth requires neither altars, nor scaffolding.

            For the immediacy of revelation comes from its wordless clarity, not the spiderwebs of explanatory discourse, nor the labyrinthine charting of a cave that does not exist. And then what can be said of the ineffable, except that before its witnessing we will abandon the pursuit of shadows for the wellspring of generative light.








IG: @VisionsOftheDeluge
Facebook: NASteinArt

Noah Alexander Issac Stein is a visual artist known primarily for his ecstatic oil and wax compositions, and for his leading role in arts organizations based in Portland, OR, Israel, and Palestine. Noah’s unique style is a result of ritual evocations of trance states, combined with his training in research psychology, and his extensive experiences as a traveler throughout the Middle East, Asia, and North America.

In both his art and his role as an arts organizer, Noah’s focus has been in bridging dichotomies and unifying opposites. In his art this takes the form of crossing boundaries between abstract and representational, frenzied and peaceful, holy and blasphemous. As one of the founders of the trans-boundary arts organization Art Knows No Borders, this takes the form of breaking down boundaries of us and them and bringing artists of different backgrounds together in pursuit of common causes.



Learn more about “Distanced: Artists Under Quarantine” here.



Julia Alora

Julia Alora is a transplanted Portland sculptoress inspired by biology and the natural world. Her works can be found lurking in the woods, guarding her studio, and in co-op art houses around the city.