When Jan Kaláb was born in 1978 in Czechoslovakia, graffiti was not to be seen in the Eastern World. In the 1990s, as the country was opening itself to western influences, he became one of the pioneers of the local scene, and founded an iconic crew, the DSK. Sleepless nights around train yards, light tubes at police stations, and above all, hard work on his style, Kaláb went through all the classical steps of a writer’s career.
With time, his forms became more and more geometric. He used colorful squares and circles as an obsessive vocabulary for infinite variations around depth, time, and motion. Playing with circles conveyed organic imperfection and swing into his work. Dynamic was also crucial in his recent experiments, when he took pictures of some of Kaláb’s paintings in the streets of New York or other cities. The project became a social one when he realized he needed help from strangers to carry the canvas. This is no surprise, since collective energy is crucial in his creative process. The artist is very invested in collective events. He’s the co-creator of a highly dynamic cultural space in Prague, called Trafačka. More than 160 exhibitions took place there from the opening in 2006 till the closure in 2015. On his own or collectively, the motto is the same: always getting higher, always inventing new forms – a tribute to the soul of graffiti.