Oren is a painter, photographer, draughtsman and designer, but primarily a stone sculptor working in marble, limestone, granite and soapstone. He studied fine art at University of Maryland and kept a day job as photo editor and informational graphics reporter at the Houston Chronicle for nearly 30 years.
Oren is a direct carver of stone. He begins carving without preconception, maquette or plan — letting the stone initially dictate its form. After the stone is roughly carved, “the rock reveals its images hidden inside,” said Oren, “It’s nothing cosmic. It’s like seeing shapes in clouds — a variety of natural gestalt closure.” Some of Oren’s work plays on one’s mind seeing figurative images in random or abstract shapes. He has compiled a book, Pareidolia, that challengers readers to see figurative form in abstract images.
Judaism informs Oren’s art, “Just as it informs nearly everything I do to some degree. We are, after all, just ridiculous collections of our combined experience.”