Cover image of the review
Publicity image for Framed, courtesy of SBS.


30 Apr 2022
SBS 26 Dec - 26 Dec 2021

1. Fuck Picasso.

Picasso, who sat idly by during the World War, abusing women while many of his friends suffered and died, is the same man who spent the last two thirds of his life doodling fawns, doves and peace signs for the commodity art machine. Picasso, who mechanically palmed off shop-worn elements from the prop closet of classical Greek pedimental design to the public too numb to notice.

That’s artist George DiCaprio and his son Leonardo (yes) from their introduction to the book Struggle—The Art of Szukalski (2000) on the Polish symbolist artist Stanislav Szukalski. It’s edited by LA alt/underground art/design archivists Glenn Bray and Lena Zwalve. Bray was one of the first of the East Coast comix fanatics who stumbled across the forgotten Szukalski in the early 1970s. The story of his chance encounter and lifelong relation with “Stas” features in the Netflix doco Struggle—The Life & Lost Art of Szukalski (2016). It’s the tip of a humongous iceberg of all the art that officiated Modernist histories and activated Contemporary ideologies cannot see. A partial map has always been readily available, drafted over the last half-century by West Coast comix/graffix artists, to whom the phantasmagoria of the dismissed extremities of European Symbolist art was not corny and kitsch but crazed and confronting. For them, the likes of Szukalski offered an alternative writing of art history that never came to life.

To read for free enter your email address.

Log in with your registered email address.

Memo can continue to publish free, quality, and independent weekly art criticism with the support of our readers. Consider becoming a Patreon supporter or making a donation.