button-pro-crown
PRO accounts for artists
check
Sales via Facebook and Instagram store
check
Managing clients and sales via CRM
check
Artworks mailing lists
check
Sales of reproductions and digital copies
Read more
button-pro-crown
PRO accounts for artists
arrow-toparrow-down
check
Sales via Facebook and Instagram store
check
Managing clients and sales via CRM
check
Artworks mailing lists
check
Sales of reproductions and digital copies
Read more

New Netflix film about Polish artist was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio

Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio has teamed up with his father to produce a film about Stanisław Szukalski, a half-forgotten Polish artist who died more than 30 years ago.
New Netflix film about Polish artist was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio
The new Netflix documentary Struggle tells about talented but obscure Polish artist named Stanislaw Szukalski. Leonardo DiCaprio’s father George was friends with Szukalski.

The film shines a light on Szukalski’s colorful life and the hardships he endured during World War II. Born in Poland in 1893, he moved back and forth between Chicago and his native Poland as a young artist on the rise. By 1934, Poland had declared him the country’s greatest living artist and the Szukalski National Museum in Warsaw was home to most of his intricate paintings and massive sculptures, notable for their dramatic mythological imagery.
Still from the film Struggle (2018)
Still from the film Struggle (2018)
"He had an unusual gift of combining many different artistic styles," states Lameński, an art historian at the Catholic University of Lublin and an expert on Szukalski’s art and life. "From Gothic and renaissance
The Renaissance is the period that began around the 14th century and ended at the late 16th century, traditionally associated primarily with the Italian region. The ideas and images of the Renaissance largely determined the aesthetic ideals of modern man, his sense of harmony, measure and beauty. Read more
European art, through to contemporary styles like Art Nouveau and Expressionism
You can hardly tell the exact day or year of the birth of Expressionism, which is usual for all powerful art movements. You cannot draw a border on the map and indicate the territory where Expressionism took its start and got stronger. Overall, it’s all roughly known. Except for one rock-solid spatiotemporal benchmark: Northern Europe on the eve of the First World War. Expressionism is an avant-garde art movement, a new tragic worldview, and a whole set of significant motifs, symbols, and myths. Moreover, it is a revolutionary reaction both to the shabby, lifeless traditional academic art, and the light, idyllic southern impressionistic “appearance” of the world. Read more
, to Pre-Columbian art."


But despite these multi-cultural influences, he was not the least bit cosmopolitan. His aim and ambition was to create purely Polish art, deeply rooted in early Polish folk and pagan traditions. And when he reappeared back in Poland with an exhibition in 1923, he was ready to conquer the Polish art scene.
New Netflix film about Polish artist was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio
George DiCaprio appears throughout the film in interviews while the only reference to Leonardo is a picture of him as a child with Szukalski.

George DiCaprio had used to bring around his young son, Leonardo. One day, Szukalski took the family’s copy of a monograph and added an inscription for the child. "A warning," he jotted down in the front cover of the book. "Please do not grow up too fast."
Advice that was probably not heeded. But nevertheless, Leonardo DiCaprio, like many others, has rema

Advice that was probably not heeded. But nevertheless, Leonardo DiCaprio, like many others, has remained interested in Szukalski, even long after the artist’s death in 1987. The actor is a noted collector of Szukalski’s sculptures, and contributed funding to a retrospective of his work at the Laguna Art Museum in 2000. Now, he serves as a producer along with his father on the documentary—the work of director Irek Dobrowolski—which tells the story of Szukalski’s troubled life and complicated body of work. The film recently premiered at the Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival, and Netflix intends to make it available worldwide.

Left: Stanislaw Szukalski with a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Source: The First News

Stanislaw Szukalski. Flooded city
Flooded city
1954, 61×71.2 cm
Szukalski’s sculptures and drawings were dramatic, monumental, surreal. The title of the film comes from one of his best known works—a tense, sinewy hand with eagle heads emerging out of the fingertips—but also substitutes for the overarching theme of his life.
  • Stanisław Szukalski. Cecora, 1927. Private collection
  • Stanisław Szukalski. Struggle, 1917. Private collection
Szukalski himself recounts a story from the time his star was on the rise of attracting the notice of a high-ranking Nazi official who asked whether he would be interested in making art for the German government. Needless to say, the drawing he says he submitted depicting Hitler in a tutu was promptly rejected and no further requests were forthcoming.
Stanislaw Szukalski. Boleslav Bold
Stanislaw Szukalski. Speaker
1913, 62.2×29.9 cm
Stanislaw Szukalski. Atlantis
1910-th , 55.9×45.7×33 cm
Stanislaw Szukalski. Work
1916, 40.6×45.7×15.2 cm
Stanislaw Szukalski. Protection
1929, 76.2×35.6×50.8 cm
Stanislaw Szukalski. Copernicus
1971, 50.8×47×30.5 cm
A major stumbling block, one that is addressed in the documentary and will likely cause further debate, came at the end of filming when the crew happened upon some of Szukalski’s 1930s texts in Polish that suggest he held nationalistic, anti-Semitic views.

In the film, George expresses regret about his friendship with the artist and spoke of being "blindsided," but artist’s friend Glen Bray is convinced that Szukalski was just caught up in the nationalist fervor sweeping Europe at the time, and that his ideologies changed over time.
One of Szukalski’s sculptures, inspired by Pre-Columbian art.
Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (NAC)
One of Szukalski’s sculptures, inspired by Pre-Columbian art.

Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (NAC)
Recommended artworks:
Eduard Iosifovich Bazilyansky. Warm Evening
Warm Evening
1993, 50×70 cm
$2,138.00
Original
Andrei Viktorovich Maximov. "Motion 1 - (LISTOPAD).
  • Ad
"Motion 1 - (LISTOPAD).
2021, 140×160 cm
$10,000.00
Original
Andrei Viktorovich Maximov. "Between Two Roads."
  • Ad
"Between Two Roads."
150×180 cm
$10,000.00
Original
Andrei Viktorovich Maximov. Spillover
  • Ad
Spillover
150×120 cm
$10,000.00
Original
Marina Romanova. Pine
  • Ad
Pine
2023, 35×27 cm
$341.00
Original
Andrei Viktorovich Maximov. "In a rainbow."
  • Ad
"In a rainbow."
2023, 120×210 cm
$10,000.00
Original
Andrei Viktorovich Maximov. "On Warm Stones."
  • Ad
"On Warm Stones."
2022, 130×140 cm
$10,000.00
Original
The film posits that the closer you look at Szukalski’s artistic output and find out the truth about his backstory, the more you can see their troubling links. The nationalistic undertones of the work and his affinity for mythological megalomania—Szukalski tended to view himself as a god-like figure of the arts—have direct roots in the parts of his life that are intertwined with 20th century fascism.
Based on materials from Artnet, Observer and others.

Title illustration: collage
Collage (fr. collage — “gluing”) is a method used in the fine arts to create an appliqué of various fragments, different in colour and texture. This term also denotes the work performed in this technique. It was first introduced into the visual arts by the futurists and cubists, in particular, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. They combined scraps of fabric, photographs and wallpaper on canvases. Famous collage makers include film director Sergei Parajanov, who combined photographs, lace scraps, porcelain and dried plants.
They often try to diversify the decorating technique with pictorial tools: a brush with paint or a pen with ink. The creative genre is notable for its variegation and bold ideas. A related technique is assemblage, which involves combining various objects and their parts on a surface. Photo collages are very popular today. Read more
of Szukalski’s photo