Andrew Osta (Ukrainian – Canadian) born in 1982, grew up in the beautiful and historical city of Kiev, Ukraine. After moving to Toronto, he received his education at the University of Toronto. Interested in art as a healing tool, he was among the founders of the first “Healing Through Art” program in Canada, geared especially at recent refugees.Osta embraces diversity of methods and subjects. His early work was in pen and ink, pastels, and later acrylics. After his first extended visit to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 2011, he started working mostly in oil. Never interested in following trends, he has his own recognizable aesthetic.Osta is a Christian artist, and one who had explored many spiritual paths. Exhibiting in galleries since 2005, Andrew Osta was honored with a number of prizes in and outside of Canada, as well as extensive international recognition by private and corporate collectors. He exhibited in a museum in Italy in 2016 and in a Museum in Mexico in 2017. He exhibits regularly in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, participates in public art programs in Canada and internationally, and currently lives in a small village with his wife, two children, a cat and a dog.All of the art on this page is For Sale. Please use the Contact form for any additional information.
I first became obsessed with art sometime in 2004 or 2005. I was about to graduate from the University of Toronto but was not at all sure as to what I would like to do with my life following my studies. During this time I began creating art – not in order to sell it or commercialize it, but as a way for me to get in touch with my deeper feelings and thoughts, to deal with the chaos of my life at that moment, much as one does when writing in a diary or composing a song, only in my case, I could paint things for which I had no words.
My work started off as very complex, becoming simpler and more realistic over the years, as I journeyed from my mind down to my heart. I paint a variety of subjects: not because I have not yet found my own style, but because I enjoy experimentation. I have been asked whether I consider myself a contemporary artist. I am one, yet I consciously avoid following contemporary trends, and my own contemporary statement is my very refusal to join the bandwagon glorifying that which I wish would be gone from the face of the Earth. So-called civilized societies can be criticized and ridiculed in art endlessly. However, my response is not to criticize but to remove myself from civilization in as much as possible, because being smack in the middle of it makes it creep into ones art. My wish is to find an expression which is not contemporary (with the times), but rather timeless.
I am not sentimental or romantic about the past. In fact, I have a condition that severely limits my capacity for remembrance, so I only remember something like 1% of what normal people do. My memories of my own life are virtually not existent – I remember a few scenes spanning perhaps 10 seconds in total when I think of the many summers I have spent out of town with my grandparents when I was a child. My entire 12 years of schooling have formed virtually no memories whatsoever. I feel like what I have in my head is a few dozen still photos from a film spanning over 35 years. Perhaps this condition makes it easier for me to remain in the present moment and paint, and perhaps it improves creativity and makes me more open to new ideas, but I’m not sure. In any case, I am addressing contemporary issues indirectly. Everyday, our world grows more and more full of garbage, overflowing with hatred, ignorance, selfishness, lack of gratitude, and so forth. Everyone knows these things and sees them on a daily basis. To paint garbage, death, hate, violence, and so forth is not to say anything new, since all of these things are already there for all to see. Instead, I paint the opposite – those remote places where natural beauty is still present, those states of love, peace, joy, freedom, and spiritual transcendence that are difficult to come by in contemporary society. When chaos and destruction keeps spreading like a cancer all around us, people need to be reminded of the beautiful state of things that had been present prior to the spread of this disease we call civilization.
Andrew Osta is a mid career artist based between Canada and Mexico. He has a large following in the artist colony of San Miguel de Allende, due to his close friendship with the late Toller Cranston. Since 2005, Osta’s work has been shown in many solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including museum exhibitions in Italy and Mexico, and solo shows in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, France, Italy, Switzerland, and South Korea.
Andrew Osta is represented by galleries in San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), Austin & San Antonio (Texas), Hamilton and Toronto (Ontario), and Villefranche Sur Mer (France).
Osta’s unique style is the result of extensive experimentation coupled with careful observation. His range is impressive. His magical realism work documents his inner states: emotions, thoughts, and feelings. His landscapes and portraits record his travels and the people around him. The work often speaks powerfully and directly, resonating with the very core of the human being. The paintings seem to transcend physicality of reality and reach into deeper spiritual dimensions of existence.
–Adriana Conconi, Arte Italia Cultura
My art is contemporary but not in the sense that it follows the fashions and obsessions of the times. My work is contemporary in the sense that it embraces that which is timeless, beyond time, and always present. My paintings embrace a present reality that will not become dated in 10 or 20 years. In my work I seek a beauty that is at once ideal and achievable. I believe that human beings have the capacity to see the beauty and perfection everywhere – in nature, in the faces of people, in thoughts, in dreams, in fantasy, and in spiritual experiences.
I do not limit myself to any single medium, subject, or style. I prefer to explore, to discover new artistic territories, to say things that have not been said before rather than repeating the same statement over and over. Art is a key to a fascinating world without bounds. By placing limitations on subject matter or style, an artist fails to bring out the entire hidden wealth of that world. My artistic interests and influences range from Byzantine iconography to modern Western art to Latin American and Folk expressions. I like to paint different things at different times. This does not mean that I have not found myself or have not discovered my style. It means that I am bored with easy formulaic painting, although this sort of work is the easiest to sell and to promote on today’s market.