...there is something captivating, raw and sensuous -

- something in the way a Stern figure vacillates between flat and thick; between course and slick; something in the way the figures rise and fall and turn within the paint; in the way that, though frontal, their heads appear to shift frontal to profile to three-quarter views - and especially in the way that we are right there in the deep mess of it all, feeling the stirring search of the artist’s hand - that moves Stern’s paintings beyond the easy metaphors of erotic urgency, Dionysian excess, or existential struggle, to arrive at something that, far from anxious, destructive, exaggerated, or extreme, is actually quite tender and life-affirming. When Stern is at his easel he is not indulging in a “passion for impasto”; he is a workman-painter, raking the coals and stirring the cauldron - celebrating the act of creation.

Lance Esplund, New York, 2008

image: David Stern, “large nude” from “Heroes and Graces” 63 x 51 inches, 2011/12 (detail)                           

©  2014 David Stern. All rights reserved

David Stern