Leon Oks

Leon Oks

Leon Oks: The Art of Hope

By Tom Burgher II

The paintings of Leon Oks exhibit several styles that reflect the complexity of his experience and his creative process.  In spite of a lost childhood in war-torn Eastern Europe, his paintings incredibly capture sylvan scenes and cozy Ukrainian villages; memories of the beautiful moments of his youth that flood his canvases. In his signature, expressionistic style, Leon appears fascinated by the concept of a “Mother Earth” or a “feminine” life force interwoven throughout Nature.  This concept emerges in his depiction of single or multiple female figures, and re-emphasized with the fertile re-generative symbology of orchids; and people growing and blossoming as if flowers.

 Leon Oks, an American artist born in the Ukraine, both invites and defies comparison with modern masters.  Some see the influence of Fauve and Picasso in his works while others believe he has gone well beyond the boundaries established by these great 20th Century artists. With his father lost during WWII, Leon was raised by his mother and grandparents as they moved from village to village in a war-torn Ukraine.

 At first, learning to draw on his own, he was later educated and mentored in the classical way of the Great Masters of the Renaissance. Many European publishers of art anthologies have included examples of his art in their compendiums of significant paintings of the past 5 centuries. But his paintings were too “free” in thought for exhibition and sale in the politically correct culture of the Soviet Union. After immigrating to the United States at age 40, he began again and quickly blossomed in style and technique.

I have come to know the art and character of a great living artist: Leon Oks. I believe that what he is creating today will influence what artists and students of the history of art will study tomorrow. I have arrived at my assessment analytically by looking at the fundamentals that make for great art and by comprehending the emotional creativity that inspires him to paint in a unique manner. Finally, others in the art community have noticed and are beginning to exclaim similar thoughts in their own way. If I were picking a living artist with the potential to assent to Picasso’s fame, then I would pick Leon Oks.

To this day, Leon is motivated to paint scenes of the lost Russian villages, and the untamed rural woods and streams of the Ukrainian plateau. He sketches rapid, realistic life studies or landscapes from which emerges an emotion, a memory, or a mood. Ultimately imagination takes over and guides the artist in his expressionistic meanderings often causing him to paint through the night unconscious of the passage of time. His sensitivity to and awe of Nature is revealed to us through the use of complex colors, which only exist in Leon’s imagination and on his canvases.  His palette is soft but warm, which is what makes his paintings so approachable and embraceable, and therefore, makes his art hopeful and optimistic.

Leon Oks states it this way: “It is important that my audience in a very simple way draw satisfaction and pure pleasure when looking at and living with my work. This is the power of art: to overcome the problems and realities of every day life and offer a hopeful view.”


Selected Awards

2016:    INTERNATIONAL AWARD "PLATFORM": Best artist in 2016, organized by Redwood Media Group.

2016:    HONORABLE MENTION at the exhibition "2016 PERSPECTIVE" Museum Of The Americas, USA.

2015:    THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD PIETER PAUL RUBENS, June, 27 2015Italy.

2014:   The Best 2014 Modern and Contemporary Artists. Palermo, Italy

2014:   Outstanding People in the Arts Today.

           For Segnificant Accomplishment in the field of Modern and Contemporary Art. England

2013     First Price Huston Award, INTERNATIONAL HUSTON SHOW.

2012     Diploma Cacciano 2012 in “The Golden Medal of Fabriano

             Award – Cacciano” Art Competition Italy

2011:    Vincent Van Gogh” by Italian Association of Art “Italia in Arte For Artistic skills reported by many experts on Art

             as well as through national and International publications.

2010:    David Di Michelangelo” by Italian Association of Art “Italia in Arte”

              For Artistic skills reported by many experts on Art as well as through national and  International publications.

2009:    The Leonardo da Vinci’s true face” by Italian Association of Art “Italia in Arte”

              For Artistic skills reported by many experts on Art as well as through national and International publications.

2008:   Diploma Di Merito, Galleria D’arte Moderna “Alba”, Ferrara, Italy

2008:   Selected as a Charter Member of the Leading Intellectuals of the World

            American Biographical Institute

2007:   Gold Medal for the United States by virtue of extreme contributions and

            Commitment to International Contemporary Art  American Biographical Institute

2007:   Eminent Fellow: Associate Professor of Arts American Biographical Institute

2007:   World’s Most Respected Experts in the Field of International Contemporary Art

            American Biographical Institute

2007:   Best in Show, “5th May International Salon  Museum of the Americas, Miami, FL

2006:   Specialized Certification of Expertise in International Contemporary Art

            American Biographical Institute

2005:   Master Diploma for specialty honors in International Contemporary Art World Academy of Letters

2005:   Diploma of Excellence Global Art Annual Competition “Art Now”, London, England

2005:   First Place Award, International Art Competition “JUST PAINT 2005” Artrom Gallery, Rome, Italy

2005:   The Best in Art and Creativity, The World of Art Award, England

2005:   Top 100 Contemporary Artist  International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England

2004:   First Place Award, Best of the Show, “International Summer Show”

            Latin American Art Museum, Florida

2004:   International Visual Artist of the Year International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England

2004:   Professional Associated Academician of Arts GRECI-MARINO International Academy, Italy

2004:   First Place Award, International Show “Encounters” Museum of the Americas, Miami, FL

2000:   Silver Brush Award and Award of Excellence.

           International Juried Art Competition, ORT Institute, Chicago IL.


 


 

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