Shimon Okshteyn (Ukrainian, b.1951) showed tremendous artistic promise from an early age. He was accepted into the celebrated Odessa Art Academy in 1970, when he was only 19, and he graduated three years later with a BFA. Okshteyn started to exhibit his work in 1972 while still a student. He had completed 20 solo and group exhibitions by the time he immigrated to the United States in 1980.
Okshteyn’s work is featured in the collections of several museums in modern Russia, including the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art in Nizhniy Novgorod. When he came to the United States, Okshteyn's imagination was inspired by his new environment, and his creativity, coupled with his daring use of form and strong colors, helped him to establish himself among the leading artists of the day.
The artist began to exhibit in his new home in 1981 at the Wilbraham Monson Academy, Wilbraham, MA, and the Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since 1987, Okshteyn has undertaken a solo exhibition almost every year, many of them in his adopted hometown of New York. In recent years he has also returned to exhibiting in Russia, presenting Dialoque With Objects, Retrospective Exhibition in the M'ARS Contemporary Art Center, Moscow, and the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, both in 2007. That was followed by Lost Christmas at the Triumph Gallery, Moscow, in 2011.
Okshteyn works in a variety of formats, including drawing, sculpture, installations, and mixed media, making his work almost impossible to categorize. He is known for his commentary on themes such as consumerism, sexuality, and cultural memory. His pieces are available to purchase through the Stefan Stux Gallery in New York City. Okshteyn is also the subject of the book Shimon Okshteyn.: Dialogue with Objects published by Palace Editions with support from the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, and The Kolodzei Art Foundation, United States, which coincided with the exhibition of the same name. In 1997, he was awarded the Biennale Internationale Dell Arte Contemporanea Prize in Florence, Italy. Okshteyn currently lives and works in New York, NY.