Oksana Mas has taught Uman a lesson in art. The young Ukrainian artist and designer attracted public interest with her large-scale art projects, among which the most noticeable were huge spheres made of thousands of painted eggs and the Virgin Mary mosaic panel The Look into Eternity. This year, Mas will represent Ukraine at the Venice Biennale, where she is to show elements of her wooden-egg replica of the Renaissance masterwork Ghent Altarpiece in which its creators, the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck, depicted an earthly paradise.
Oksana recently demonstrated in Uman several completed pieces of the work. She expects her replica of the Ghent Altarpiece to be 92 meters tall and 134 meters wide when completed. This soccer field-sized mosaic will consist of 3,480,000 eggs, carved out of beech wood! In Venice the artist intends to show eight pieces of her composition, each of which will be six meters tall and wide. The work on this composition will be completed in six to eight years. Currently, volunteers from twelve countries are painting images of human sins on the eggs to help Mas. She admits some believers voiced their opposition to her concept of the altarpiece, so the artist has decided to use real painted eggs when making the most impressive details of the mosaic, to somehow balance her audacity. Work on the mosaic is mostly being done in Odesa, Mas’s hometown. Unfortunately, there is no facility available in the city where one could assemble the altarpiece’s elements, which weigh several tons each. So now it is assembled in an abandoned workshop of a defunct factory in Uman. The Ghent Altarpiece’s shape is gradually emerging. One can already see the tiara that God is crowned with, and several central figures will be ready for the Biennale.
The 54th Venice Biennale will be held on June 4 through November 27.