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New show at Take My Picture Gallery: Muralist Siqueiros couldn't say Phil Stein, so he became Estaño




Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Photo by John Rabe
Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Siquieros and "Estano."
Courtesy Anne Stein
Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Philip Stein burned to show the struggle of the little guy against power.
John Rabe
Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Philip Stein's always morphing painting of his wife.
John Rabe
Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Opening night at A Civil Defense: The Paintings of Estano (Philip Stein) at Gary Leonard's Take My Picture gallery in downtown LA. Hey, that's filmmaker Stephen Seemayer (Young Turks) in the light sportcoat and Joel Schroeder (Dear Mr. Watterson) in the blue checked shirt.
John Rabe
Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Painting by Phil Stein at Take My Picture Gallery.
John Rabe
Detail of Philip Stein painting.
Gertrude and Phil Stein
John Rabe


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Muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros couldn't pronounce his young friend's name. So Phil Stein became "Estaño." Phil Stein was a painter who lived a long and fruitful and fighting life, burning to tell the story of the little guy against the machine.

In one, from a distance, you see the canyons of New York City, the buildings tall and imposing, like a shield wall or a fort, impenetrable, menacing, inhuman. Move closer, and there's the Guggenheim museum down at the giants' feet. Shapely and sexy, but still dwarfed; art v. the machine. Then, way down there, a little group of angry people, churning. That's quintessential Philip Stein.

Many of his paintings are now on display at Gary Leonard's Take My Picture gallery in downtown Los Angeles, where Off-Ramp host John Rabe talked with Estaño's daughter Anne Stein.

(A Civil Defense: the Paintings of Estaño (Philip Stein) runs through December 31st at Take My Picture Gallery, 860 S. Broadway LA CA 90014.)