Aleksandr Kharon


Aleksandr Kharon
Aleksandr Kharon was born in Odessa in 1953 in the former USSR. Odessa port city on the Black Sea now is part of Ukraine. Aleksandr's love and prodigious talent for art were evident from his early youth. Even when very young, one of his patrons was quoted as saying that his God-given talent was like having been "Kissed by God". To promote his exceptional talent, Aleksandr was sent in turn to The Academy of Arts in Odessa, The College of the Arts in Odessa and the University of Monumental Arts in St. Petersburg. This extensive training in primarily secular art (since almost all religious art was banned or destroyed by the Soviet government) had a profound impact on his later work, both secular and spiritual. Primary among his many influences were the great works of El Greco, Van Gogh, and Modigliani.
While at "The Nativity of the Theotokos" Aleksandr and the future Priest Zinone became introduced to a man who would change the entire course of their lives: Elder Andrew. He became their Spiritual Father; they his spiritual children. His amazing piety, humility and his "other worldly" spiritualism changed them both forever. The future Priest Zinone began studies to become a monk, he and Aleksandr became even more devoted to returning the majesty of Byzantine iconography to Russia.

Elder Father Andrew of St. Glinskaya Pustin in Holy Russia, blessed Aleksandr's iconographical work in a canonical Byzantine-Russian style. The process of painting of icons was lost during soviet era and Aleksandr had to find the orinigal processes from the books of Erminia authored by Dionysius of Fourma. The books were donated from St. Panteleimon monastery collection on St. Mnt. Afon in Greece.


"For Freedom in Russia" ~ 1976, canvas, oil, 40"x35"~

Private Collection


1975 started his work on icons and in 1978 began his work on the church of “The Nativity of the Theotokos” by the city of Odessa, Ukraine. Father Basil Multih served the church for 30 years and he protect Aleksandr from the soviet government agencies. During that period the painting of icons was unlawful under the soviet laws. Kharon constantly had to fight against the nefarious will of the KGB and ideological officials for his right to create an original art that did not fit in the procrustean bed of enforced official doctrine. When he was released, he continued his work in secret and as the regime began to change he was again able to work on the Church. The work on the new icons for the "The Nativity of the Theotokos" was completed by 1986. By this time Aleksandr Kharon was an extremely renowned artist and iconographer.

"Black Sea"~1970, canvas, oil, 30"x36"~

LucOil Foundation Museum, Vienna, Austria


Aleksandr and his family moved to Italy in an attempt to eventually immigrate to the United States. While living in Italy, Aleksandr was commissioned to work for The Vatican. Fifteen of his works are now present in the Vatican's collection. In the 1990, when an opportunity arose Aleksandr's family decided to immigrate to the Unite States. Upon arrival in United States his family settled down in San Diego where he had his first U.S. commission for the Russian Orthodox Church.

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