Pabli Stein (1986) lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born into a family dedicated to women’s clothing manufacturing and marketing, his approach to this universe began to develop alongside his early interest in painting. Today, Pabli Stein’s work explores fashion’s language of signs and advertising aesthetics through a pictorial language translated into paintings, collages, or videos. At the outset of his career, he took part for three consecutive years (2010, 2011, 2012) of Proyecto-A Award aimed at supporting young artists. Among his exhibitions, the following stand out: his first solo show in Europe La Piel Traslúcida (Translucent Skin) at Galería Haimney (Barcelona, 2019); Form as a Context, a group show with international artists at Frost Museum (Miami, 2017): and La Otra Luz (The Other Light) at Espacio Enso (Buenos Aires, 2014). His works were also presented by Quimera gallery in several international fairs such as arteBa, SCOPE Miami, Art Toronto and Art Lima. He joined a program about this work at Uberbau_house, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 2020 and 2021. His work has been featured in the books Latinoamérica al Límite (Arte al Límite, 2014), and Circuitos del Arte (Arte Al Límite, 2018); Noche abierta (Editorial Patricia Rizzo, 2021) is the first book dedicated exclusively to his work. Pabli Stein’s works are included in private collections in Argentina, Canadá, Chile, Spain, United States, England, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay.
2019 Pabli Stein: La piel traslucida, Haimney Galería, Barcelona, España. Texto por Marcelo Dansey, curaduría de Irene Carbonari. [Catálogo]
2017 Pabli Stein: Obras Recientes, OTTO Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Texto por Eduardo Stupía. [Catálogo]
2016 Pabli Stein: Los pies y la ventana (Site-Specific) Quimera Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Catálogo]
2015 Pabli Stein: Color oculto, Espacio ENSO, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Catálogo]
2014 Pabli Stein: La otra luz, Espacio ENSO, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Catálogo] Texto por Eugenio Cuttica.
2013 Pabli Stein: Cada vez más cerca, Bisagra Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Texto por Patricia Rizzo.
2012 Pabli Stein: Upright Blood , WTC, Montevideo, Uruguay. [organizada por Bisagra Arte Contemporáneo]
Group exhibitions (Selection)
2020 Sentimientos Encontrados, Quimera Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2017 Form as a Context, Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida, USA. curaduría por Bárbara Bollini.
2016 Bosquejar, esbozar, proyectar [tomo II], Quimera Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Curaduría por Santiago Bengolea y Javier Aparicio. [Catálogo]
2015 Colección Patricia Rizzo, Museo Evita-Palacio Ferreyra, Córdoba, Argentina.
2014 Antiarruga Granate Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Texto por Natacha Voliakovsky.
2014 Pirámide Selva, Laboratorio de Festival, Buenos Aires Argentina.
2013 Aventura, 2Alas, Miami, FL, USA.
2012 Con-vivir, Zavaleta Lab, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [catálogo]
2011 Post, Meridion AC, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Curaduría por Nicolás Sobrero.
2011 Bastidores Urbanos, Mural para la municipalidad de Tigre, Argentina.
Performances & Projects
2017 Stein & Muro, The Clubhouse, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Performance y videoinstalación en conjunto con Sebastián Muro.
2015 ARTEBA 2015, Proyecto A arte contemporáneo. Bs As, Argentina. Performance y videoinstalación en conjunto con Sebastián Muro.
2015 La Flor Militante (flower by Kenzo), Museo de arte decorativo. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Escultura y Performance.
2014 Noche y día, Quimera Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Performance y videoinstalación en conjunto con Sebastián Muro con la colaboración de Salvador Rivera concierto en vivo.
2012 Premio Proyecto A (11ºedición), Proyecto A arte contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2011 Premio Proyecto A (10º edición), Proyecto A arte contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2010 Premio Proyecto A (9º edición), Proyecto A arte contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2020, Diplomado Arte y Sociedad: coordinado por Curatoria Forense, Sao Pablo, Brazil.
2010-2017 taller de pintura coordinado por Daniel Callori, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2014-15 Laboratorio de obra: coordinado por Claudio Roncoli y Mariana Rodriguez Iglesias, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2004-2006 taller de pintura coordinado por Marcelo Buraczeck. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Colección Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Argentina.
Colección Patricia Rizzo, Argentina.
Colección Mariela Ivanier, Argentina.
Colección Ignacio Bustamante, Perú.
Colecciones Privadas en Argentina, Canadá, Chile, España, Estados Unidos, Inglaterra, Perú, Uruguay y Sudáfrica.
Exhibitions in the following Art Fairs
2020 ART TORONTO, Quimera Galería, Toronto, Canadá.
2020 ART LIMA, Quimera Galería, Lima, Perú.
2020 Art Palm Beach, Quimera Galería, Palm Beach, USA.
2020 ESTE arte, Quimera Galería, Punta del Este, Uruguay.
2019 ART TORONTO, Quimera Galería, Toronto, Canadá.
2019 ART LIMA, Quimera Galería, Lima, Perú.
2019 ESTE Arte, Quimera Galería, Punta del Este, Uruguay.
2018 SCOPE Art Show, Quimera Galería, Miami Beach, USA.
2018 Kunst for Alle, Kuvio.DK, Øksnehallen, Denmark.
2016 AAF Art Fair, Escarlata, New York, USA.
2016 L.A. Art Show, Escarlata, Los Ángeles, California, USA.
2015 ARTEBA, Proyecto A arte contemporáneo, Bs As, Argentina.
2015 ESTE arte, Marte arte contemporáneo, Punta del Este, Uruguay.
2013 ARTEBA, Bisagra Arte Contemporáneo, Bs As, Argentina.
2012 ARTEBA, Bisagra Arte Contemporáneo, Bs As, Argentina.
Mi work explores the conflict between what is exposed and what is hidden. It is developed among the fields of painting, collage, and video. The images are produced in the invasion of territories, where the presence of one language evokes the absence of the other.
Both my collages and my paintings are nurtured by photographs related to fashion and advertising aesthetics. The search begins in printed magazines where the female figure is presented either in full, as a detail, or just as a trace. Guided by desire, I seek a pictorial imprint, displayed in texture, transparency, a fabric’s sheen, or simple contrast. If one of them looks too obvious, I discard it; I am especially seduced by the ambiguity of what cannot be seen, but it is suggested.
I compose the image based on this indication. Wether on paper or canvas, the method is similar.
I make direct use of cut- outs in collage, but in painting, I translate those images to the canvas dimensions. Afterwards, I gradually pour gestures on it: tearing, veiling, scratching, filling, sweeping, spieling, or dripping.
I superimpose color layers as if they were layers of meaning until the original figure becomes blurred and it starts revealing the reference’s wear and tear. Ultimately, the image gets submerged in a query and, in contrast, the pictorial language raises almost like other character. The veil becomes more essential than de veiled object in my paintings. In these times where everything is exposed, I aim to recover part of eroticism’s lost brightness: the power of what is hidden.
Editorials, interviews and articles in print and academic media
Articles and interviews in digital media
You might be able to put on hold questions about categorization when dealing with Pabli Stein. Is this collage? Is it painting by other means? Next-generation appropriationism? For this edition of arteBA12, Stein challenges us with the shares, selections and mashups we use to build our private cultural archives, unsystematic and heterogeneous but nevertheless shareable. Let’s think about the images around us from the time we get up until we go to bed, in all their versions and mediums. They would establish a universal public heirloom of all possible visual situations. Undoubtedly, such a vast universe is impossible to comprehend. Stein’s work intends to be a somewhat tight and overlapping conglomerate of slices from this cosmos. His field of action is comprised of fashion magazines and scraps of printed fabric. His compositions set a pendular course between collage and décollage, between a juxtaposition of appropriated images and a display of overlapping layers, between the restoration of a different rationality and archaeology in present time. On the whole, it offers alternative paths for advertising and fashion signs. They are usually shown with the prepotence of a settled significance, while Stein’s conglomerates are open, unfinished signs. Every figure is trimmed, at some points covered, partially denied. From this overlapping of unfinished signs, we can appreciate a new, distinct one emerging, with its own rules and codes that leave behind the logic of advertising in order to meet painting.
Pabli Stein: Elegy of Transformation
Turning a silent fragment into an imposing image is only a couple of clippings away. This simple yet elaborate and complex choice and selection is closely linked to the conception in which Pabli Stein understands his work.
As we know, collage is an artistic technique, consisting of assembling diverse elements into a unified whole. The term applies mostly to painting, but by and large it may imply any other art form such as music, cinema, literature or music video. It derives from the French coller, which means gluing. Pabli seems to take from more than one art form, undoubtedly his production stems from painting and connects to it, but music videos’ aesthetics are very akin to his compositions; cinematographic and advertising photography appear as references and a manifest musicality looms in his visual narratives, which end up linked in a complex and contemporary structure mix.
His photographs, or fragments, reconstruct images that become entirely cryptic. Sometimes his choices are focused on a texture, a matter, a halo of brightness, certain conflicting aspects; the beautiful breast of a perfect female… excess light in a beach scene, a color’s depth. Among the elements, in an intricately stripped-down way, beauty is blunt. His gaze slips out, amazed at symmetry between dissonant elements, a corner, a lipstick’s sheen or the excessive presence of a jewel. His inquest draws on many sources, diverse aesthetics, but it’s always very careful and it’s linked, in many cases, to a fashion and advertising imprint.
His compositions do not resort to overstatements, or to those images shown as merely striking; as if opulence should always be present, but divined, slightly clandestine. If something becomes a little obvious, he discards it, he likes to spot it; a fine indication, discovered rather than manipulated.
His aim has often focused on double meanings, although it could also be said that for him meaning is secondary, that he is more interested in the ensuing images and what he receives and what emanates from them. Thus he considers the pre-existing illustrations and their original sources, in order to give them another direction, sometimes poetic, but above all aesthetic.
Stein has achieved something important with his production, and has done so very early in the evolution of his work; his collages are easily recognizable; they inspire a sense of identity that is their own.
Ideas of visual grammar fly over and attest the distinctive knowledge of a never worn-out voyeur who, furthermore, revels in seeking and pursuing the charm of a bare minimum. As Henry Thoreau said: because my greatest skill has been to want but little.
Fascinated by the images in fashion magazines, Pabli Stein takes them by storm, makes them his own, unquestionably as an excuse to unleash his other passion, painting. Figurative reconstruction of images that obsess him is a task he undertakes with a painters’ religious dedication. But the image never turns out steady, it does not become a faithful copy of the model, because in the process – as in the practice of pleasures –, you never know where or how it ends.
Stein accepts the task as a physical act. Fabric, which at the beginning serves as a bed for love, delimits a crime scene in the end. No crime of passion, that’s for sure. And at this point let’s open a parenthesis and say that when the art system is ruled by a virtually impersonal conceptualism, this sensitive freedom is read as a statement of principles. This is not an automatic, purely emotional act. He gives in to his instincts, he lets go, he gets lost, true. But he surrenders with eyes wide open; the artist examines his practice and, like every good lover, allows time to go by smoothly, intensely. It does not follow a binary mindset that can only recognize active/passive mode. He gives in to the interregnum of tension triggered by his object of desire. His painting reacts to a primary drive, the workshop; from some sort of inception between the artist and his model a fresh, powerful, uninhibited image arises.
M.S. Dansey, 2019
Pablo Stein’s painting seems to manifest, or happen, in a certain state of conflict, a conflagration between elements that struggle to prevail over one another, but ultimately neither appears as dominant. And this may be due to an orderly decision, a structural program, or a consequence of an inner quality of the artist, debating between forces, magnitudes and movements that break in and backward indistinctly into the territory of the painters’ practical consciousness, that turns the medium and the canvas into some kind of battlefield.
Unmistakable figures, invariably feminine and almost always turning their backs, or slit-side glancing a smooth half-profile, developed halfway between reference and geometric synthesis, sometimes metamorphose into formless silhouettes, strangely voluptuous lumps, and survive the onslaught of a convulsed exudation of squirted, blown paint in a dissruptive fight of thick crossings, splashes and brushes.
If a taxonomy of these components were to be tested, it could be ascertained that they come from both very pregnant and identifiable iconographic sources – the rhetoric and mannerisms of fashion photography, figurative stylization – as of various genres and techniques – material abstraction, prototypical strokes, stains, wild brushstrokes and action painting outpourings – which are also nourished by terms usually conceived as opposed, in a polarity where the dilemma, or dialectics between action and reflection takes a leading role again. Textures and pigments, fluidity and density, corporeal and atmospheric, contrast and combination, visible and occluded come together and apart, they coalesce and dilute, as a secular alchemy’s fluids and elements that contest the thematic and semantic physiognomy of each piece, being useless, or impossible to detect their ultimate affiliation, other than the clash of modalities and stimuli, if not opposite, at least disparate.
When he engages in paper collage on paper, and despite still being captured by this dystopian tune, Stein finds in this medium a more restrained variant, as if the temperament he displays in his paintings now imposes a pause, a respite, between colored papers covered in glitter, tracing paper used as glazing – equivalent to the vaporous acrylic clouds obscuring the planes – and photographs dissolved in mutilated clippings on which aerosol shots suddenly burst.
A zone of deceptive formalism opens up here, a paroxismal fervor gives way to a more elegant, less overwhelmed sensibility. And all at once, in this deliberately restricted ground, hidden behind a discreet decorativity, and in the residues of altered images in loud surface effects, lurks the purest, sharpest and pulsing face of a throbbing and turbulent painter who, momentarily secluded, gets ready for the moment to return to the fray.
Eduardo Stupia, April 2017.