Portraits of a Future Self 

Selected Works, 2019

The series Portraits of a Future Self examines the limits and possibilities of painting in the digital age. By combining doll-like, robot-like forms and found pictorial material with a profound understanding of art history, especially the history of German painting, Stein’s process raises questions about our place in a post- human world.

Through the almost exclusive use of gray tones in her paintings, Stein uses color both tactically and emotionally. The works combine utopian aesthetics with the exaggerated facial features of human robots, which are increasingly used in Japanese retirement homes, schools, and law enforcement as a non-threatening interface.

Part human, part machine, and part animal, Stein’s portraits move effortlessly between analog, artificial, and digital worlds. Both Stein’s distinctive painting style and her subjects are deeply rooted in these contrasting realities.

From the Golem to Boston Dynamics, humans create unwitting portraits of themselves in the forms of their idealized servants.

Technology presents itself as scientific, neutral, and even biologically determined. In reality, our machines and interfaces are ideological, mythological, and (especially) intimate. They stare not out of a void but back at us, as if a mirror.

Andrew Best, 2019

 

Portrait of a Future – Exhibition text by Curator Peggy Schoenegge EN / Ausstellungstext von Peggy Schoenegge (Kuratorin) DE

Portrait of a Future Self (Mirror Face),
2019, Oil on Canvas, 50 x 40

 

Portrait of a Future Self (Neo Chimp),
2019, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30

Young Collector Looking at a Painting,
2019, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30

The Bathers / Die Badenden, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 80 x 60

Nybble and Sweetheart, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30

Unimate Sweating / Schwitzendes Unimate, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30

Like a Robot by the River, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30

Portrait of a Future Self (Close-Up), 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30

Joy for All, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24

Drone, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 50 x40 cm

Pleasure Matrix, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 24x18 cm

Sad Robot , 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 24x18 cm

Marker, 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 24x18 cm

Portrait of a Future Self (Economic Crisis), 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 40x30 cm

Portrait of a Future Self (Milk Maid ), 2019,
Oil on Canvas, 40x30 cm