“A work of art should not be just ‘a little bit’ different from the reality. It may portray absolutely nothing. The true purpose of art – is not in reproduction of reality, but in the creation of its own aesthetic reality. Art does not ‘improve’ anything; if so, it would mean that some artist could improve Christ in his work.”

Dr. Natalia Murray – The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde: The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin- Russian History and Culture

Artso was founded to be the benefactor and steward for the artist Sasha Okun. Founded by Michael Marx whose relationship with Sasha has developed over 20 years, the evolution of Artso and the relationship between Michael and Sasha has enabled Sasha to freely apply his craft and trade in a completely unencumbered creative manner. Throughout this tenure notable installations and gallery shows have taken place. Previous Museum shows in the Russky Museum and Israel Museums have met with permanent acquisitions into the Museums.  The forthcoming show “Intricate Affinities” at the Petach Tikvah Museum in September 2016 will be followed by the 2017 Summer show “New Aquisitions” at the Albertina Museum, Vienna. Equally important, this patronage has delivered a Catalogue Raisonee almost complete to the tune of 300 works. The Art works have rarely been available for purchase and received only limited viewing. October 2016 sees a new dynamic of this journey with the introduction of Sasha to the wider Art audience and market begining with the presentation of “A Harmony of Dissonance” in London spanning Frieze 2016. This exhibition is curated and coordinated with a new team assembled by Artso including curator Hagai Segev.  Hagai clearly relates, identifies and integrates with the philosophy of both Sasha and Michael, further endorsing this unique journey and the relationships it has created. Artso’s strategic role is to protect the integrity and heritage of the works of Sasha Okun, past, present and future. With the ever increasing importance of protecting influential and authentic Artists in the Market, Artso will deepen the balance, relationships and partnerships commensurate with the global market exposure that Sasha’s work deserves thus further building on the generous and undoubted acclamation he has received to date.

The Works


The Artist

Sasha Okun

One bright morning I set out to paint the landscape around Bethlehem.
All of a sudden there was the muse standing in front of me.
I recognized her right away.
Good morning, I greeted her.
Hello, Sasha, she said.
Why did you reveal yourself to me? I asked.
If you want to say something, go ahead, because I have no time to spare. The paints are drying up.
What is there to say, my dear Sasha. You know everything yourself…
What’s the use of trying to fathom the meaning of profound concepts, or wasting your life searching for a gospel for humanity?
Look around! The myth is more real than reality, and the mundane is full of charm. The less attention you pay to yourself the more yourself you will be.
The eternal is more innovative than the latest news. Banality harbours a hidden secret, while the pursuit of originality is really banal…
The muse kept on talking till I interrupted her to ask:
All right, madam, but what does all this have to do with me? What exactly do you want with me?
She looked at me dumfounded for a few moments, then waved her hand in despair, handed me a paintbrush and vanished.
Go figure it out…

Sasha Okun was born 1949 in Leningrad, USSR. 1972 he graduated as M. A. from
Muchina Academy of Arts & Design. In 1979 Sasha emigrated to Jerusalem.


A Harmony of Dissonance

The Curator

“Okun’s art is based on the study of works by master painters of the past: Ingres, Mantegna, Tintoretto and Michelangelo – then he forgets whatever they have taught him and sets out to find his own innovation in style and values. He is searching for truth in his singular artistic idiom expressing a humanistic philosophy of the aesthetic of the ordinary and the mundane, and by doing so creates a contemporary, complex and yet direct perspective on life of our time.” – Hagai Segev

Hagai Segev Curators is a curators studio dedicated to projects of museums and exhibition design and planning. The studio is active in Israel and Europe.

“Sasha Okun is one the best kept secrets of the Israeli art world. The Albertina Museum in Vienna http://www.albertina.at/en acquired four of his drawings for its outstanding collections a few months ago”
Okun’s oeuvre is cynical and humane, in dialogue with grotesque art of the Renaissance, Goya, and Francis Bacon and Ferdinand Boterro. It’s conceptually close to the plays of Beckett and the Israeli Hanoch Levin.” – Smadar Sheffi

Smadar Sheffi – Curator of Intricate Affinities: Recollections of Western Tradition in Local Contemporary Art : Petach Tikya Museum of Art, Israel



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A Harmony of Dissonance

Exhibition: Thursday 29th Sept – Thursday 13th October 2016 open daily for public view
Location: U&I Gallery Auditorium, 7a Howick Place, Victoria, London, SW1P 1DZ


Sasha Okun features in “Intricate Affinities”

Recollections of Western Tradition in Local Contemporary Art Petach Tikvah Museum of Art in Israel


General Enquiries  – info@artsoltd.co.uk
Press Enquiries  – press@artsoltd.co.uk
Michael Marx – MHM@artsolltd.co.uk
Administration  – sarah.petley@artsoltd.co.uk