"As she concluded her May 2009 keynote address to the National Association of Women Artists, Linda Stein remarked, “Gender constructions and gender constrictions. How do we find the courage, the bravery to break these molds?” Her series of Knights, begun in 2002, guides the viewer toward empowerment in the face of sexism, homophobia, racism, and other forms of institutionalized oppression. Since 2007, the Knights have evolved from static totemic personages mounted on the wall to suits of armor animated by their wearers. They are trickster figures in their shape-shifting potentialities. Stein encourages the viewer to imagine what it is like to slip into another skin, to swap bodies and shift genders.
In Stein’s hands, Wonder Woman (created in 1941 as a superhero who never kills) advances the artist’s intent to recognize feminine strength and valor that are disavowed in the masculine and feminine positions that structure our society. Stein speaks movingly of the way gender stereotypes were reified after 9/11 in the media and official discourse to make all the heroes men (soldiers and first responders), and the victims women (the 9/11 widows most prominently). Fundamentally, Stein’s art is about disturbing the binaries that organize our society and that we accept unquestioningly as natural.
As artist-activist, lecturer, performer, as well as founding president of the non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, HAVE ART: WILL TRAVEL! Inc. (HAWT), Linda Stein’s focus has been to encourage constructive and empowering male and female gender roles leading to Peace and Equality through the arts. As art editor of On The Issues Magazine, she has written articles highlighting sexism in the art world and moderated discussions on Masculinity/Femininity with men who are known for their books and articles on the changing male and the fluidity of gender in the 21st century."
- Dr. Margo Hobbs Thompson, Art Historian, Muhlenberg College, PA
Stein's artworks are in many public collections throughout the country. For outdoor bronzes, in addition to private work, Stein has been awarded the commission for three larger-than-life Knights to be sited as the central commission for the $4 million Walk of the Heroines at Portland State University. For more complete information on Linda Stein, see her archives housed at Smith College or visit her website.
Stein has video work available for viewing on youtube: Linda Stein's youtube channel.