Coming to Netflix today, Friday, December 21:
STRUGGLE: THE LIFE AND LOST ART OF SZUKALSKI
A portrait of a long-forgotten Polish artist rediscovered in California, and the complicated legacy he left behind.
In 1971, pop culture art collector and publisher Glenn Bray chanced upon a book featuring the work of Polish sculptor and painter Stanisław Szukalski from the 1930s. Captivated by Szukalski’s bold, surrealist sculptures, Bray sought out more information only to discover the artist was still alive, living nearby in Los Angeles, and more than happy to discuss his work with Bray and other local artists, including George DiCaprio and his young son Leonardo, who serves as a producer here. Interviewed on camera prior to his death in 1987, Szukalski discusses his work and the strange pseudo-scientific mythology he concocted in his later years – theories which lend his art disturbing nationalistic meaning and also inform the disturbing embrace of Szukalski by ultra right-wing groups in Poland in recent years. What begins as a fairly straightforward celebration of an overlooked artist takes an unsettling turn into a not wholly satisfying examination of the thorny ideology and legacy of his work.