Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beware, Szukalski!

There was this fascinating artist named Stanislaw Szukalski.

For some personal reasons, I avoided even so much as reading about the guy for many years. This was because my first exposure to him was via a pair of crazy comic book artists I knew. Both of these guys were (and, I suppose, still are) racists. One of them is bonafide insane, and the other is a closet Nazi. But that was other stories for other days and which I've already covered.

The point being, of course, that because my first exposure to the work of Szukalski was via a Nazi and a crazy racist, I was quite suspicious of so much as looking at Szukalksi's work. Finally, though, after coming across a number of references to the artist, I decided to take a lingering gander at his accomplishments.

Much of his work, apparently, was destroyed by his fellow Poles who were, at the time, heavily involved in measuring up to their Soviet overlords. Any anti-communist aspects of Szulkalski's work can be understood, due to those circumstances. And, perhaps, this is why he seems to appeal to neo-Nazis and their kith, the neo-Conservatives. If it hates communism, it must therefore be good.

Labor by Szukalski

And so, I'd been working under the assumption that because Neo-Nazis and Neo-Cons seemed to adore this guy, I should avoid his legacy at all cost.

It was a mistake.

When I finally did look at his art, I was pretty much astounded. I will admit that I admire many of those who have lots of artistic talent, as my own abilities lay pretty much atrophied in that respect. (There was a time when I thought I'd pursue graphic arts, but I laid it aside to chase after literary accomplishments. When the end comes, we'll see if I made a good choice.) But the fact remains that I am sometimes astounded by art, regardless of the source.

When I finally did start to look at what remained of his art, I was quite put off by his rather strange and bizarre ideas concerning the history of Mankind. This crazy bastard actually believed in The Great Deluge and that he could prove that it actually happened. I'm just not into that Fortean stuff, but apparently crazy racists and closet Nazis are. Still, I fought through that aspect of his work and indeed began to look upon it as just another manifestation of his art. For even
a fascist can produce beautiful works of art. So can a communist. Political orientation apparently is not necessarily a detriment to creativity.

Struggle by Szukalski

But I remain puzzled as to why Szulkalski seems to be so popular among the right wing pieces of shit in the arts community. When I do run across his name, it's generally from some right wing asswipe artist I've chanced to meet, or at the website of such a person.

Oh, well. It's just a mystery. And I won't let it color my attitude toward the man's art.

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