Narratively

 

This Obsessive Utah Artist Spent a Half-Century Building a Personal Shrine

Ralphael Plescia turned an unused building into a quirky, cultural goldmine. But what will become of it all when he’s gone?

By Torben Bernhard & Travis Low | December 6, 2016

After losing his grandmother, sister, father and daughter in the span of six months, Ralphael Plescia turned his grief into art. Nearly fifty years later, Plescia’s larger-than-life sculptures and drawings have become an obsession, filling every nook and cranny of his private museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. His project has one overriding vision: to tell the real story of Biblical creation by rendering characters and tales lost to history. Over the years, the giant works of art have become part of the building itself as Plescia hollows out underground tunnels and builds bridges to make space for more of his creations. Now reaching his twilight years, Plescia is coming face to face with the reality that when he dies, his legacy may die with him. “There’s a 98 percent chance that one day none of this will be here and I wasted my life,” he reflects. “We all have a choice of wasting our own life the way we want.”

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Mission Impossible: Finding the Perfect Name for My Kid

A new dad on the nightmare-inducing challenge of coming up with a timeless but fresh, cool but not too cool name for his son.

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Adventure Is in My DNA

A filmmaker and surfer proudly explores her Indigenous roots, and discovers that thrill-seeking runs in the family.

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These 4 Women Are Taking on a Politician Near You

The coalminer’s daughter. The bartender. The police brutality activist. The grieving mother. Each looked at the man representing her in Congress and said, “I can do better.”

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The Collector of Time

As Mark McKinley puts it, “no collector ever says, ‘I’ve gone too far.'” After 27 years and an official Guinness World Record, he stands by that statement.

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The Saviors of Saffron

Three young Spaniards are reviving the farming tradition that flourished in their grandparents' generation.

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An Aging Mother’s Animated Love Letter to Her Autistic Son

“Who would look after him if I wasn’t here?” and other questions this mom asks herself every day.

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Courvosier Cox Knows He’s a Superstar

Meet a teenage actor-singer-comedian with absolutely no doubt that his tumultuous adolescence will soon give way to Hollywood fame.

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A 360° View of India’s Gravity-Defying Pole Wrestlers

Get up close and personal with the athletes of the reemerging ancient pastime of mallakamb, in Narratively’s first 360 film.

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This Breathtaking Greek Fireworks Battle Puts Your July 4th to Shame

Once a year, residents of this mountainous island gather at two churches on opposite ends of town and launch 100,000 handmade rockets — directly at each other.