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Joe Lichtenstein is a visual artist, animator and theatre director. Joe’s work criss-crosses the edgelands between the drawn landscape, distorted portraits and stop frame animated films using charcoal on paper in mysterious, sometimes melancholy, sometimes manic pieces. Much of his work pulls focus to the world around him, such as his pictures of hedgerows from the Essex countryside drawn from the window of a train. In 2020 he received the Firstsite Collector’s Bursary Award to draw further reaches of the Essex countryside from the window of a train. At the start of the pandemic with a yearning to see faces, the focus of his work became the faces that visit and sit for him when he dreams, captured in vivid colour. 
When not in his studio Joe works as a freelance theatre director. He recently directed Beginning for the National Theatre Productions playing at Theatre Royal Bath and Queens Theatre Hornchurch. Joe has worked as Associate Director on Doubt at Chichester Festival Theatre and on the West End with the Jamie Lloyd Company for the Pinter at the Pinter season which starred, Sir Anthony Sher, Lee Evans, Tamsin Greig, Penelope Wilton, Meera Syal and others. He is a graduate the National Theatre Studio’s Directors Course.


In a way kindness is a magic. It’s a powerful force that we can create from inside each of us and send out into the world. We can gift it to others around us and if we are fortunate we can be wrapped by its warmth from others.
To be kind outwardly requires a strong inner kindness to oneself. My artistic practise comes from this place of inner kindness.

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