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Stanislav Shukalsky (Stanisław Szukalski, Warta, Russian Empire, December 13, 1893 - May 19, 1987, California, USA) - American painter and sculptor of Polish origin.

Stanislav Shukalsky was born in what is now Poland, but since childhood he lived alternately in his homeland, now in the USA. He studied at the Krakow Academy of Arts, where he won two gold medals, and in 1925 at the International Exhibition of Contemporary Decorative Art in Paris received the Grand Prix for bronze, an honorary diploma for an architectural project and a gold medal for stone carving. In 1934, he was declared the greatest living artist in Poland. Most of his intricate paintings and massive sculptures were housed in the National Museum of Shukalsky in Warsaw.

He intended to create a new Polish art, based on national mythology and history, invented his own pseudo-scientific historical theory of Tsermatism, which claimed that all human culture originated from Easter Island after the flood. Humans, descendants of the “pure creatures” of Lemuria and Atlantis, are involved in the eternal struggle with humanoid yeti from the Himalayas and their hybrids with humans (“sons of yeti”). Shukalsky illustrated these fabrications with his works.

After the capitulation of Poland in 1939, the Museum of Shukal was destroyed, and the exhibits were destroyed or looted by the Nazis. The artist himself took refuge in the US embassy and, being a citizen of this country, was evacuated along with the staff of the diplomatic mission. He settled in Los Angeles, where he later became friends with the family of George DiCaprio - the father of the famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

For many years the artist lived in poverty, worked on film studios, designed scenery, sometimes sculpted, painted more. He devoted much of his time to the secrets of the ancient history of mankind, the formation of languages, religions, customs, arts and the migration of peoples. He tried to unravel the origin of geographical names, gods and symbols, which are preserved in various forms. The author combined his discoveries into a “pro-language” (“protong” or “macimową”), a monograph about which he published in the 1970s.

Preserved texts written in the 1930s, which show that Shukalsky held nationalistic and anti-Semitic views. However, his close friend and manager of the heritage, Glenn Bray, claims that at that time the artist was influenced by "the nationalist fervor that swept through Europe, and subsequently his ideology changed." Shukalsky himself said that when he was at the peak of his fame, a Nazi official offered him to create works to the glory of Germany, where Hitler was to become one of the main figures. The artist declined the offer and no further requests were received.

After the death of Stanislav Shukalsky in 1987, a group of fans dispelled his ashes over the extinct volcano Rano Raraku on Easter Island. In 2000, Leonardo DiCaprio sponsored his retrospective at the Lagoon Art Museum in California. In the same year, the father of the actor published the book “Struggle,” for which he wrote the preface in collaboration with his son. Bothmade by producers the film “Fighting. Life and Lost Art of Stanislav Shukalsky ”, broadcast of which was launched on Netflix on December 21, 2018.

Author: Vlad Maslov


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