Mas, Oksana

Beginning of a Collection, 2008
Mixed media, oil, pencil and gloss on canvas
74 x 59 in
Not since Kandinsky, Altman, and Burliuk lived and studied in Odessa has the city given rise to a major international artist. All these men eventually left Odessa, and went on to successful art careers. More recently a few recent Odessa artists, such as Yuri Leiderman, moved to Moscow in the 1990s and earned renown in Russia, but not much more. Today, the city's best hopes for an international art star rest on 39-year old Oksana Mas, who by the way, has no plans to leave her home.Raw and profound is the best way to characterize Oksana’s artworks. At the same time they are aesthetically pleasing and beautiful. Oksana’s artworks clearly reveal a vibrant and passionate soul with a fine and discerning understanding of human psychology. She has a natural-born versatility, and is comfortable and capable working with different mediums. Her paintings, video, installations and objects explode with energy and are life-affirming. What a relief from the despair and gloom that contemporary art often tends to descend into. Oksana has also pioneered new techniques in art application. Take for instance her full-room painted panels. Each panel has up to 25 layers of alternating varnish and paint, creating an extremely vibrant color. The paint appears to remain fluid and seems to be flowing. This innovative and refreshing approach to art has helped Oksana place works in major contemporary art collections in Odessa and Kiev, as well as in Moscow collections. These include MoMA, the Stella Art Foundation, the Ekaterina Foundation owned by businessman Vladimir Semenikhin, and the collection of businessman Roman Trotsenko, owner of the Winzavod Contemporary Art Center in Moscow. Oksana’s special intuition and penetrating vision extends beyond the present. She does not allow the here-and-now to consume and bog her oeuvre down in senseless, pretentious and gross experimentation simply for the sake of shock and awe. Oksana was born in 1969 in Illichivsk, Ukraine. In 1986, Oksana graduated from the Illichivsk School of arts and in 1992, completed her art studies at the Odessa State Art School. In 2003, Oksana received her bachelor of philosophy from the Odessa State University. The artist lives and works in Odessa.

Artist Statement:

"I feel deep inside that a new era in art will soon appear, and that we'll get away from superficial art that leaves brutal impressions,'' Hopefully, this current financial crisis will help people understand that spiritual values are more important than material."