Minestrone, 2008, pencil on paper, 63 x 100 cm, courtesy of the artist, photo: Gregory Khatin
Sasha Okun's drawings are based on the long realistic tradition of such Old Masters as Goya and Daumier. His works focus on grotesque situations bordering on caricature. The human figures featured in it are simultaneously ludicrous and touching, the scenes they occupy surreal. The drawings' "plots" are part comic and part tragic, and they generate emotions of absurdity, stupidity and cruelty; alongside empathy and acceptance. Okun focuses on the figures' exposed, shriveled bodies, on their embarrassing blemishes and distortions and on their stupid facial expressions, exposing their human frailty, the pain of growing old and the betrayal of the body. In so doing, his works also criticize the worshipping of young bodies in contemporary culture.
Born in Saint Petersburg, 1949; lives and works in Jerusalem