Oleg Stavrowsky was born and raised in Harlem, New York, in 1927. He is an American painter creating loosely rendered, realistic landscape and genre paintings depicting an idealized version of the American West. Especially focused on horses, Native Americans, and cowboys, Stavrowsky’s works are made in the tradition of earlier artists.
His interest in western art began in high school during World War II. After serving in the war, he became a technical illustrator for McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. Then his career expanded to fashion illustration and other types of commercial art, but he became exasperated with art directors.
A visit to Oklahoma City and the Cowboy Hall of Fame changed his life, and he gave up commercial art and went to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he started western painting. In his first year, he was in an exhibit at the Hall of Fame. Eventually, he settled in Texas with his wife and children, where he still lives and paints.