Unmasking the Art of Anatole Krasnyansky

Unmasking the Art of Anatole Krasnyansky


Can you imagine an artist who worked on the
restoration of the Hermitage Museum, did scenic designs for the TV show “Gilligan’s Island,” and had an infamous encounter with the rock band KISS that revolutionized his art forever? I am born in Soviet Union, in Kiev, and thank God we had enough time, me and my mother, to run away from Kiev and to go to the place
where we’d never been and that was the beginning of a new life. [Morris Shapiro] Anatole was trained as an
architect in Kiev, Ukraine, where he was born, and he actually did restoration at the Hermitage
Museum after the war as an architectural student. He went on to design the Polytechnic Institute
Metro Station in Kiev, which is a major, major accomplishment for an artist, particularly
a Jewish artist at the time. When I came to United States, I have to look
for a job. And to look for a job, this was the same time
as you’re looking for your shadow. [Shapiro] Anatole eventually moved to California
in the 1970s and began to do scenic design for major motion pictures and television,
working for Universal Studios. One day he got a call to work on a rock video. I heard music—crazy, wild music. I turn around to look, I saw a band, and the
music was horrific. It sounded like dirty noise. I came home under the impression of what I
saw, and this inspired me to paint “Rok’n’Roll.” The band that inspired me was a famous band: KISS. After this experience, he created a painting
that he called “Rok’n’Roll.” That painting is the beginning of the second
style of Anatole Krasnyansky’s remarkable work. [Krasnyansky] My art is not about politics,
it’s about the human soul. [Shapiro] Anatole Krasnyansky’s place in the
history of art is fixed, it will never be erased, and he will be remembered as one of
the most important artists of the early 21st century. Life is a masquerade. I would like you—all of you—to understand,
that the time I spent on art is a golden time of my life.

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