MADRID.- Galería Kreisler
is presenting the first solo exhibition in Madrid, of the Czech artist Jan Kaláb, which can be visited until January 23, 2021.
In this exhibition the artist fills the capital with energy and color with a variety of canvases in relief of hypnotic, organic and vibrant forms like those that exist in nature. Vivid colors, inspired by the variations of sunlight during the course of the day.
Jan was one of the pioneers in his country as a graffiti writer, better known as Cakes (from Czech, which translates as "Splash") and founder of DSK crew. Since 2008 he started to experiment with sculpture and canvas which gradually led him to abstraction, perhaps also influenced by his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
How could we define his work? "Geometric and minimal abstraction", mostly created on frames designed and made by him, where he stretches cotton canvases that he paints with acrylic with both brushes and pistols.
In these works, in relief, the shape and the shadow are kept in contrast, and the color fades away from each other, trying to play with these two illusions to put them in the same level.
According to the artist, his work aims to express concrete emotions and feelings through an abstract visual approach, bringing back memories such as a day at the beach or that feeling "when the sun rises on a winter Sunday". The forms are organic like cells of microorganisms, drops, "melted" forms, elusive and undefined as the emotions are.
Jan Kaláb is an artist who "could not live without colors", and believes that the circle in his work represents two opposites: sphere and hole. Existence versus emptiness. Imperfection brings movement to the perfect form of the circle and movement brings life. Imperfect shapes, which the artist tries to make as perfect as possible.
When Jan Kaláb was born in 1978 in Czechoslovakia, graffiti was not seen in the eastern world. It wasn't until the 1990s that Jan became one of the pioneers of the local scene, founding the iconic DSK team.
In Europe, he made a name for himself as Cakes, but it was on a trip to New York City in 2000 that he made a definitive breakthrough in his career, painting entire trains along with the other graffiti writers "Key" and "Romeo. Almost at the same time, he found a new way to overcome his own limits and challenge himself: 3-D Graffiti. Under the name Point, he sculpted huge abstract letters that he decided to put on the streets and walls. The higher, the better. This was another way of doing graffiti, in daylight and without spray paint, but faithful to the spirit of competition and innovation of the urban scene.
These sculptural works led him to abstraction, a path he has been exploring through the canvas since 2007, a work that is accompanied by a constant research of new techniques and structures. Through geometric morphology, precise acrylic painting or layered surfaces, he begins to analyze the space within a classic image.
Meanwhile, this admirer of Kupka, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, becoming the first Czech graffiti writer to do so, opening his first solo exhibition in 2008 in Prague. After this, other exhibitions have followed around the world, in countries such as Romania, Argentina, Germany and the United States....
Thanks to these colorful geometric shapes, he created his artistic language composed of a vocabulary with infinite variations in depth, time and movement.
In addition, the artist is the co-creator of a very dynamic cultural space in Prague called Trafcka. With more than 160 exhibitions inaugurated since its opening in 2006 until its closing in 2015. Individually or collectively, Jan's motto is always the same: "Always getting higher, always inventing new forms - a tribute to the soul of graffiti".