Nothing is known about this author, other than that he is thought to have been born in around 1910 and died in around 1980. In the words of Régis Gayraud, “Mikhail Kaliakin’s fascination for military ornamentation meets the folk embroidery tradition; the individual himself becomes an embroidery, as his hair and moustache are turned into decorations. The medal of the Order of Stalin takes over the entire space, while the clean lines of the military uniform envelops the representation of festivities around the Kremlin, and the whole world is made of the same flesh. As Kaliakin wrote in his own texts, ‘Mister-God-Kaliakin created the world, the earth, the air, the water, the forests and the mountains, the seas, the oceans, the rivers, and the lakes. Created men, the world of wild beasts, fish, birds, and magical technical power in the world. Signed: L. Stalin. Confirmed: L. Stalin.’” (Régis Gayraud, “L’Art brut russe, un goût de pierre à fusil, in Alexandre Lobanov et l’Art brut en Russie. Paris: abcd, 2003).
Exhibition catalogue, Élévations, collections Bruno Decharme et Antoine de Galbert, hommage à Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, Palais idéal du facteur Cheval, Hauterives, (april, 30 – august, 30 2015), text by Barbara Safarova, Lienart ed. , 2015.