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Alexander P. Sachal

I was born in Kiev in November 1924. When I was about 6 years old, my Mother decided to move to Moscow, in search of work. We took a train, a merchandise transporter train. In those box cars there were about 20-30 people, and from Kiev to Moscow is about 450 miles, so it took us 2 weeks to get to Moscow; just to illustrate what kind of situation existed then.

At 16 years old, I joined the Fine Arts School, Sculpture School, Sculpture Workshop. We were working for 4 hours in the shop, learning how to make sculpture. The next 4 hours were academic: learning architecture, decoration, stone carving, clay, hot wax process for bronze sculpture. In June 1941 school was closed and converted to a war factory to manufacture military hardware. So, I volunteered to the army so I could defend my country.

In September we were sent to Front Line, and in December I was sent back because I was damaged by explosion in my machine gun nest. I was in Northern Caucausus Front; then, in December, as prisoner, I was taken to Germany to work in the iron ore mines. My art saved me as I was able to make portraits of the guards in order to get an extra morsel of bread to sustain me in this difficult year and a half, and when I sculpted from a marble slab, the face of the Warden, everyone respected me in a new way, especially the Warden.

March 1944, I escaped from Germany and the prison camp and its horrors, and walked for one month to Burgundy, France, where I was captured by the French gendarmes, sent to prison for "vagrancy". There I met the people who were forming the French Resistance, and I joined this underground group. On August 14th, I was shot and severely wounded in an altercation with the Germans.

Rescued by a French family, Count and Countess de Montalembert, I was hidden from the Germans and the French in their country house until allied armies arrived. I was decorated by the French General Koenig with the Croix de Guerre. I moved to Paris in January and attended the Academy Julien and Grande Chaumiere Art Schools, and various other art atteliers during this 3 year recuperation from my wounds.

I went to Argentina in 1947 and worked for 2 years, and then returned to Paris to resume my studies in the art academies. In 1955 I immigrated to the USA, and worked as a commercial artist for advertising agencies until 1960, when I left for Spain for 6 months and stayed 16 years. I had shows in London, Paris, Madrid, Malaga and New York.

I returned to the Bay Area in 1976 where I have continued to live with my wife, Carol, who is my greatest supporter! I have had shows at the Vorpal Gallery, Hewlett Packard Art Gallery, Opts Gallery and SomArts Gallery.

Gallery 1
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