Born in 1978 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Jan Kaláb is one of the country’s most notable contemporary artists’ today. A founding pioneer of the Prague underground graffiti, and street art scene, formerly known as Cakes, and with his crew, The DSK – together they animated city streets, and spent many sleepless nights in train yards, and perhaps, a few nights too in police stations.
Following those glory days, Jan’s work has evolved to 3-D graffiti, light suspended installations, animated NFTs, paintings, and sculptures. His paintings teeter on the edge of sculpture and his sculptures are mostly painted. All the while, shape and color are the main characters of his work, which he pushes and blends together to exaggerate, or minimize, forms. Sometimes Jan’s work may resemble a particular shape, but it is never his intention to capture, nor replicate an existing image or narrative. Rather, he seeks universal beauty in an unseen and novel perspective, and redirects the known into the unknown; into a new dimension. The sensations of déjà vu, like when remembering a special moment or melody; this is the ultimate feeling, Jan strives to achieve and wishes to resonate with his audience.
In studio, Prague
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A Masters graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts of Prague in 2006, Jan had his first solo exhibition shortly thereafter in 2008 at the acclaimed Trafo Gallery, an exclusive art space notorious for showing only outstanding artists with limited shows of four per year. Since then, Jan has exhibited in high profile galleries around the world, including New York, Miami, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Taipei.
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“Making art is like trying to conquer unknown territory. A space that doesn’t exist until you discover it. Sometimes the journey only takes you through fallow land, you find a desolate island or get lost along the way. If you don’t stop looking, a completely new world may open before you. And it may just be so dazzling that it’ll transform the old one forever.„
“The circle fascinates me not only by its purity in term of shape but mainly through the tension between the inner and outer. As if the fundamental essence of life could be be linked to a series of incessant attempt by that which is on the outside of the circle’s perimeter to penetrate it and vice versa. As soon as this tension disappears one remains circling the perimeter, over and over again.„
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“I often wonder if inspiration is inexhaustible. Could I reach a point from which it will not be possible to go any further? Is there any end at all? I am convinced that there isn‘t any. Each point is in fact an opening into another world. The closer we get to a certain point the more we find ourselves surrounded by it. Suddenly we are inside, able to see other dots on the new horizon. Once we embark on such a journey we are bound to be entertained for our entire life.„