Dr Joe Stern MD, born in the USA of American and German descent, spent his formative years on a US army base in Frankfurt, Germany, before relocating to his home town of Santa Monica in sunny California.
After studying medicine at the universities of Heidelberg(Germany) and Berkeley (USA), Joe joined the marines as a medical doctor and was stationed in Iraq until he was discharged with a gunshot wound – an experience that would prove to be major turning point in his life.
Upon arriving home, it became clear that medicine no longer held the same appeal and that he needed an outlet to express his feelings of rage at the horrors he witnessed during the war, which eventually lead to his long standing and successful career as an artist.
Joe was originally drawn to the Spain to be closer to his terminally ill brother, already a permanent resident on the Costa del Sol. As a sun loving Californian, it was inevitable that Joe would enjoy the laid back cosmopolitan lifestyle of Marbella.
Working from a studio in San Pedro de Alcantara, Joe creates highly personal art which could be described as impressionistic surrealism without any defined lines. His works range from three dimensional wall art to decoratively adorned dress makers’ dummies which were recently used in Chanel’s recent catwalk show. High profile fans include John Travolta and Nicholas Cage who purchased paintings from Joe’s original studio in Santa Monica.
In 2011, Joe met, fell in love and proposed to acclaimed German fashion designer and Marbella resident, Barbara Weber Lichtenberg. He credits Barbara with raising his spirits and bringing him to a point where is happy with his life. With a desire to help others, as Barbara helped him, Joe donates time and money to various charities; running workshops for handicapped children in Marbella, where they can learn to paint on one of his works, and he actively supports charities that work with ex-service men and women in he USA.
In 2013, Joe was approached by under graduate students from Madrid University and having recently accepted his invitation, they are currently working alongside him in his Marbella studio.
Joe and Barbara’s latest project sees them put their considerable talents to use, as they join forces and set about creating a unique brand of art and fashion in Marbella. They also have their sights set on opening a brand studio in the South of France. However, as a Californian at heart, Joe doesn’t rule out sweeping his bride to be off her feet and heading back west to make an impact stateside.