Andrew Osta, Ukrainian – Canadian (1982 -)
Born in 1982, artist Andrew Osta grew up in the beautiful and historical city of Kiev, Ukraine, known for its rich Orthodox Christian heritage. In 1994, Osta moved to Toronto, Canada where he eventually entered the University of Toronto and graduated with joint Bachelor degrees in philosophy and computer science and several awards.
He discovered his talent for visual arts rather late, during the last 6 months of his University studies. This discovery led him to abandon all thoughts of a conventional career and become a serious artist. Completely self taught, he learned through experimentation and came up with a number of personal styles – among them “Word Art” and “Subjective Symbolism.”
He worked as an assistant Art Therapist in 2008-9, and was among the founders of the first in Canada “Healing Through Art” program, geared especially at recent refugees.
Described as prolific by his peers, Osta does not easily fit into any simple category. His interests are very wide, encompassing not only art, music, and writing, but also traditional healing methods, the spiritual life, history, and gardening, to name only a few. He is the author of 4 books and one full length music album. Although most of his songs remain unpublished, they have received positive acclaim from several world-class musicians.
Within his painting practice, there is a diversity of methods and subjects. Early work is exclusively in pen and ink, then pastels, then acrylics, the oil, watercolor, linoleum prints, natural pigments, etc. Easily bored when not challenged, Osta continuously strives towards novelty and discovery. Nevertheless a recognizable aesthetic runs through all of his work. All of his paintings share elements of harmonious design, color balance, and heightened contrast. Many of the works also contain a subtle humorous element.
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.
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Andrew Osta is one of the most important and well-collected contemporary artists to emerge on the San Miguel de Allende, Mexico scene in the last 10 years. Now living in Oaxaca, Mexico, this prolific artist is creating a wide range of powerful images that speak of positivity, hope, joy, faith, and love – in a cultural climate that is mostly devoid of positive emotion .
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.
He is represented in San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, Austin & San Antonio Texas, Toronto, and in the South of France. Time permitting, he is open to commission work. The paintings are shipped worldwide.
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.