I’ve been prolifically creative for as long as I can remember. As a child (under 10), I remember making drawings and carving objects out of soft wood with a pocket knife. My teenage years were consumed by entertainment – video games, TV shows, and the Internet. In high school, I began to write poetry, philosophy, and short stories. Also in high school, I taught myself piano and started writing songs. In university, piano gave way to guitar and the song writing continued. During my last year of university (2004-2005), I began to draw very abstract psychedelic imagery, which eventually convinced me that I should dedicate my life to visual art.

Andrew Osta early paintings 2006 Cancun Mexico
With my paintings behind me, Mexico, 2006

Unable to make money with my art in canada, I went to South Korea in 2007 and spent a year making art while teaching English part time. In 2008, I worked in SISO Hamilton part time as an assistant art therapist, while continuing to paint. In 2009, a new chapter of my life began – I left Canada and went to Peru to study shamanism. While in Peru, I was writing daily and also writing a lot of songs. My writings were later published as my first book: Shamans and Healers. My Peruvian songs became the Dimension Dream album.

Artist and author Andrew Osta. Shamans and Healers book.
In Iquitos, Peru. Summer of 2009.

In 2011, I moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. For the first time in my life I became a part of a huge artist community – meeting with other artists, attending several shows a week, showing my artwork regularly, paying the bills by selling art. I became a close friend of Toller Cranston, Marion Perlet, E.C. Bell, Bruce Stuart, and other artists. Most of my time was spent with Toller, who became a mentor to me. In 2016, I wrote a book about our friendship. I also wrote a follow up to my Shamans and Healers book – a book about my return to the Christian faith of my ancestors called Walk in The Light.

Artist Andrew Osta in the art studio of his friend, Olympic Skater Toller Cranston
2014, Toller Cranstons Studio

In 2017, I moved to a village on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico to give my son a chance to grow up in a natural and environmentally clean environment. I continue painting and selling art to my collectors.
Artist Andrew Osta and Son

 

 

 

STOP-MOTION VIDEOS

An Automatist Painting (22 minute video, with music)




A Magical Landscape (12 minutes, with music)




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2017 Solo Museum Exhibition in the Museum of the City of Durango, Durango, Mexico Solo Exhibition at "Aldama Gallery" San Miguel de Allende Solo Exhibition at "Connexion Aurora Gallery" San Miguel de Allende 2016 Solo Exhibition in Charlotte Gallery, Menton, France Museum Exhibition at Templar Museum, San Remo, Italy Joint Exhibition with accomplished French painter Jaro Slavko Group Exhibition in Palazzo del Senato, Milano, Italy   2015 Visits to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Geneva, Dusseldorf. Artist Residency in Switzerland. Exhibitions in France and Switzerland. Portrait of Prince Albert of Monaco. 10 Year Retrospective Exhibition.   2014 Published second book, “Walk in the Light: Holy Wisdom for Modern Times" Exhibition at Toller Cranston gallery. Visits to Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, Monte Carlo, San Remo, Pisa, and Florence. Married Ninfa Cuervo   2011 – 2013 Relocation to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Mentorship under Toller Cranston. Numerous solo and group exhibitions in Mexico. Close friendships with renowned artists: Toller Cranston, Marion Perlet, Bruce Stuart, E.C. Bell, Keith Keller, and many others. First visit to Italy.   2010 Published “Shamans and Healers: The Untold Ayahuasca Story" Recorded and published Original Music CD, “Dimension Dream.” Solo and group exhibitions in Toronto and Hamilton. Visit to Guatemala. Renunciation of Shamanism   2009 Guest speaker at “The Art and Heart of Healing” conference in Peru. Joint exhibition with the late Pablo Amaringo in Iquitos, Peru. Visits to Paris, Dublin, Kiev, Colombia and Brazil. Shamanic apprenticeship in Peru   2008 Helped develop the first “Healing and Counseling Through Art” program in Canada. Worked as assistant art therapist. Exhibitions in Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Toronto. Visit to Peru.   2007 Exhibitions in South Korea: Seoul and Cheonan. Guest speaker: “Automatic Subconscious Creation,” Cheonan, South Korea Visit to Osaka, Japan   2006 Graduated with top honors from the University of Toronto. Exhibitions in Hamilton, Dundas, Toronto. Visits to New York and Mexico Exhibitions in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Guest speaker at McMaster University. Radio interview with on McMaster Radio.   2005 Began to draw (pen and ink) and paint (pastels)   2002 Began writing poetry, songs, and music.   1994 Immigrated to Canada. 1982 Born in Kiev, Ukraine.

2018 CI Banco, San Francisco 21, Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Espacio, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Luz de Luna, Oaxaca, Mexico 2017 Bordello Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico CI Banco, San Francisco 21, Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Museo del Pueblo, Durango, Durango, Mexico The Gallery, San Miguel de Allende Mexique Decor, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Avalon Gallery, Marin County, CA Luz de Luna, Oaxaca, Mexico 2016 Charlotte Gallery, Menton, France. Hotel des Anglais, San Remo, Italy. Russian Bistro, San Miguel de Allende Studio Andrew Osta, San Miguel de Allende 2015 Shelter Theater, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Casa de Europa en Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Casa Jean Binet, Trelex, Switzerland Hecho en Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Casa de Europa en Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Bordello Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 2014 Toller Cranston Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico “Sharon de Jardines Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Dolce Far Niente, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico La Biblioteca, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Bordello Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico The Word, Kerrville, Texas Casa Esperanza, Oaxaca, Mexico 2013 Instituto de Arquitectura de la Ciudad de Mexico CAM-SAM., Mexico D.F. El Syndicato, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Bordello Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico La Biblioteca, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 2012 Ideas, Xalapa, Mexico La Biblioteca, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Galeria Bella Epoca, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico   2011 Engine Gallery, Toronto, Ontario Canada The Divine Touch, Toronto, Ontario Canada Arts Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Volunteer Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada   2010 Norman Felix Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Sunrise Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada The Print Studio, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Gallery 4, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada   2009 Intolerant Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario The Freeway, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Hamilton Artists Inc, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada ICAA, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Norman Felix Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada   2008 Liuna Center, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Sunrise Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Mentor Gallery, Cheonan, South Korea Gallery 4, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada   2007 McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Parker Pearce Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Moonbean Cafe, Toronto, Ontario, Canada   2006 Victory Café, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2018 Hecho en Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico La Tienda, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Galeria Vagamundo, Oaxaca, Mexico Hotel des Anglais, San Remo, Italy. 2017 Casa de la Noche, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Hecho en Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Salon Andre Pascal, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Hotel des Anglais, San Remo, Italy. 2016 Charlotte Gallery, Menton, France Palazzo del Senato, Milan, Italy Jaro Slavko Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Mon Bistro, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Hecho en Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Casa de Corazon, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico La Tienda, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Salon Andre Pascal, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 2015 Bordello Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Contemporary Art Gallery Relox 46, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Casa Corazon, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 2014 Toller Cranston Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Hercules, Queretaro, Mexico Rosewood Hotel, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 10th International Shamanism Conference, Iquitos, Peru 2013 El Castillo, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Casa Canal, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 2012 El Castillo, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Punto Fijo Galeria, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Hercules, Queretaro, Mexico 2011 Punto Fijo Galeria, Mexico, D.F., Mexico Hotel Real de Minas, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Intolerant Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario 7th Annual Amazonian Shamanism Conference, Iquitos, Peru. Sunrise Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario 2010 6th Annual International Shamanism Conference, Iquitos, Peru Norman Felix Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2009 Global Citizenship Conference, McMaster University, Canada 5th Annual International Shamanism Conference, Iquitos, Peru Norman Felix Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2008 McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Liuna Center, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Sabawoon, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Centre for Immigrant Arts and Culture, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 2007 Art in The Ghetto, Seoul, South Korea High Park Art Tour, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Dundas Valley School of Art, Dundas, Canada Hamilton City Hall, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 2006 Hamilton Central Library, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Parker Pearce Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Dundas Valley School of Art, Dundas, Ontario, Canada

Every one of the paintings began in the same way – I applied paint to the canvas without the slightest idea of what I would paint. As I covered the canvas with color, forms began to emerge, and I brought out whatever I saw, emphasizing certain things and erasing others. In some of the paintings, the forms and the colors changed multiple times. Faces turned into flowers, into fish, into animals, leaves, and so on. The thickness of the paint will tell you a lot about whether the painting went through significant modifications as I worked on in. In other paintings, things came together from the very start, and you can see that the paint is thin. As to what each painting means, it is similar to interpreting a dream. In a way, my paintings are created in the process of conscious dreaming. I participate in the selection of colors, choosing them to my liking, but the shapes often take form during a process of free-association, similar to an ink blot that “looks like” some recognizable form. Thus, I see various forms in the blots of paint. Then, I just bring out what I see. In my earlier works, I used to paint whatever I saw without any kind of filtration system in place, but I am now more selective about the forms I bring out. I only want to bring out positive and life-affirming images now. If I begin to see a disturbing image, I usually just paint it over and look for something else to come through. In retrospect, my paintings reflect my inner world through symbolism. If a painting takes two weeks to paint, that painting captures my main emotions, thoughts and ideas during that two-week period. Other people may understand my work in an entirely different manner than I do, and that is completely alright with me. I do not think that there is only one correct interpretation of my paintings – they are so multi-layered that in most cases, a single interpretation is simply impossible. As the eye travels over the canvas, the mind can come up with many interpretations, or perhaps no interpretation whatsoever. Sometimes, I do not understand the meaning of my forms and symbols, but the composition, the colors, the balance, and the feel of the painting are intuitively known by me to be right. When this happens, I call a painting “finished”.

I am fascinated with the creative process, and continuously push the boundaries of my own artistic experience to go into previously uncharted territory. In 2011, this means drastically changing my subject matter. From 2005 to 2010, I had been creating narratives with my paintings, where each work was a complex and involved story, similar to a profound dream, open to the individual interpretation of the viewer. My narratives always contained hidden elements that are not noticeable during a casual viewing. Therefore, each of my early paintings and drawings asks for a certain amount of time and attention from the viewer before revealing itself completely. When I paint, I follow a process of visual free-association. As a result, most of my paintings reflect my life-situation and emotional state at the time. How abstract or concrete this reflection is depends on how I feel, but also on how comfortable I am discussing my subject matter.

I have always felt that an artist is an extremely sensitive being, who is aware of things which most other people simply do not notice. The artist is like a mirror that reflects the things in front of it, and my work has been focused on reflecting my own perceptions of everything within me and around me. An artist always perceives things differently from “normal” people, and each artist shares his or her perception with the world, so that anyone can step into the artist’s shoes and see the world through his or her eyes. A true artist must make his or her life into art, so that the beauty of that life can be reflected to others.

If I have a day when I have created something – a song, a painting, or something else that didn’t exist yesterday, I am happy. If I pass a day without creating anything, it is a lost day to me. I will not even remember it. It might as well have never happened. In painting, I constantly study. I study relationships between colors, juxtapositions of elements, perspective, and so on. I would like my art to be both accessible to people with no art background, and to possess enough artistry to be appreciated by the experts.

I keep trying to express feelings, thoughts, and perceptions for which I have no words. Sometimes, these expressions include a complex dream-like symbolism that even I can't understand. A lot of my work speaks on a subconscious level. The artist has to figure out what is most important in any given painting, and make everything else submit to that. The next color that goes on the canvas depends on what is already there. The harmony of the whole is most essential!

ARTIST PHOTOS