Mihail Simeonov (1929­–2021) was born in Bulgaria, exiled to Tunisia in the 60s, and settled in New York in the 70s. He studied philosophy and sculpture and earned two PhDs at the Fine Art Academy of Sofia. During the decade after graduation, he created bronze sculptures for public art and national commissions in his home country. In 1965, after a confrontation with the communist government regarding their rejection of one of his public monuments, Mihail went into exile. From 1965 to 1971, the artist's studio was in Tunisia, a place Mihail cherished for its exuberant colors and old culture. While there he completed statues of President Bourguiba, monumental marble sculptures for the national monument in Bizerta, and sculptures for the city of Tunis. In 1971, Mihail immigrated to the United States and embarked on his project Cast the Sleeping Elephant. His cast of an African wild bull elephant was envisioned as a symbol of nature and a platform for ecological activism on behalf of all wildlife. The elephant was cast in 1980 in the wilderness of Kenya without harm to the animal, and the life-size bronze was permanently installed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Subsequent Sleeping Elephant exhibitions were held in Kenya, Milan, Stockholm, Geneva, Zurich, and New York. Mihail’s work was created in thematic series: Sunday Morning, Minotaur, Sky-Walker, Wire-Wire, and Rocketships. His legacy includes an international exhibition history and seven decades of work held in various major museums including the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland; Musée des Arts, Tunis, Tunisia; National Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria; History Museum, Samokov, Bulgaria; the Ahrenberg Collection and private collections worldwide.