Oksana Mas is a Ukrainian artist who uses thousands of hand-painted wooden eggs to create mosaics . Her art was inspired by the old Ukrainian folk custom krashenki: wooden eggs covered in traditional Ukrainian designs used to celebrate Easter.
Oksana was born in Ilyichevsk the Odessa district. In 1986 she graduated from Ilyichevsk school of arts and then M.B. Grekov Odessa State Art School in 1992. Working as an artist, in 2003 she earned a Bachelor of Philosophy at Odessa State University.
Mas creates installations, paintings and video art. She is a regular participant of the auctions of Sotheby’s and a participant at festivals such as London Frieze, Armory Show New York, Fiac (Paris), Art Basel Miami, Arco (Spain), Art Moscow, Art Dubai and Karlsruhe.
In 2011 Oksana’s work «Post-vs-Proto-Renaissance» was representing Ukraine on the 54th Venice Biennale.
On June 20, 2012 artist’s work «Altarpiece of Nations»—the ready fragments of the art-installation—was registered in the National registry of records of Ukraine as the „biggest installation made of wooden eggs—380 000 eggs“.
The art installation Altarpiece of Nations was presented at the Saint Sophia Square in Kiev. It is made of 250,000 painted Easter eggs (Pysankas) and is a replication of the Ghent Altarpiece fragment created by the 15th-century Flemish artists, the Van Eycks brothers. The prototype of the Altar of Nations called Post-vs-Proto-Renaissance was revealed at the Venice Biennale in 2011.
The Altarpiece of Nations is a 22 by 38 metres (72 ft × 125 ft) canvas with 15 fragments. The wooden eggs were painted by people in 42 countries. Three spheres, sized 90 by 110 centimetres (2 ft 11 in × 3 ft 7 in) are currently located on Monte-Carlo’s central street, Ave Henri Dunant in Monaco. Another two, sized 50 by 110 centimetres (1 ft 8 in × 3 ft 7 in), are located at the Opera Gallery. They are made of 1,500 wooden eggs accompanied by a message. The patterns of the spheres are meant to replicate the oldest world cultures: Mayan, Persian,ancient Celtic and Western Ukrainian. The spheres were exhibited in Washington, Zurich, Barcelona, Moscow, Kyiv, New York, and Paris.
Look into Eternity is an enlarged replication of the upper half of the face of the Virgin Mary from the 17th century icon Virgin Eleusa. The mosaic panel, consisting of 15,000 handpainted Easter eggs and weighing 2.5 tonnes, was presented to the Sofia Kyivska National Museum in Kiev.
Mas created a series of works using “biomorphic realism”. By switching optics, the traditional flat image becomes alive. Varnished lenses refract a light beam, adding effects of the reflected image. Mas frequently she uses hand-painted wooden eggs, 90 by 30 centimetres (2 ft 11 in × 1 ft 0 in) on a metallic disk, coating them in oil and varnish.
As of 2011, she lives and works in Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine.