Russian-born artist, Shimon Okshteyn, is currently presenting a series of new paintings in an exhibition with Stefan Stux Gallery in New York City. Dangerous Pleasures: New Paintings and Sculptures marks an expansion of the artist’s previous series which depicted representations of old master paintings. In Dangerous Pleasures, Okshteyn has rendered several large-scale hyper-real paintings depicting the intoxicating vices of contemporary life. Works titled, Heroin, Cocaine, Ecstasy and Pills, are formed from thick paints on the reflective surfaces of glass and mirror. The reflective surface also acts as a catalyst for self awareness, forcing a confrontation between the viewer and the vices, further pushing the question, “Is my happiness really only one pill away?”
The artist was born in the former Soviet Union in 1951 and emigrated in the U.S. in 1980. The artist recently completed a traveling retrospective exhibition which was organized by the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. The artist is also in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, NY, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY.