Happy Birthday Szukalski
Stanislaw Szukalski is one of my favorite 20th century artists, a genius who was a Polish national hero until the Nazis destroyed his work and nation. He fled to America, ignored and blacklisted in his adopted homeland due to his own idiosyncratic outspoken ideas and politics. He railed against Picasso and Frank Lloyd Wright (who asked Szuklaski to help him design the Imperial Tokyo Hotel) and counted Chicago legends like Ben Hecht as one of his defenders. Szukalski was re-discovered by 60’s and 70’s underground artists like R. Crumb and Robert Williams since his dramatic fantastic style reflected the expanded sub-cultural mindset of the era. Szukalski was finally honored with his first American retrospective in 2000 at the Laguna Art Museum, with support from George and Leonardo Di Caprio, who grew up with the master. Behold, The Protong!