Most art collectors are passive and predictable, content to acquire works that represent their good taste and knowledge of the art historical canon. Then there are those who are more correctly identified as patrons — initiating projects, conducting obsessive research, sometimes bringing to light overlooked or forgotten niches of culture.
The quixotic sculptor became a cult figure and a star in the early Juxtapoz canon. When Szukalski died in 1987, Bray and Zwalve — with artists Rick Griffin and Robert and Suzanne Williams — scattered his ashes in the quarries of Easter Island, the ground zero of Zermatist cosmology. In 2000, Bray’s boosterism finally came to fruition when the Laguna Art Museum hosted “Struggle: The Art of Stanislav Szukalski,” the artist’s first museum retrospective and quite possibly sponsor Leonardo DiCaprio’s greatest contribution to Western culture.