11 May – 8 June: ’Code-Switching’, Jan Kaláb & Jose Di Gregorio

CODE-SWITCHING

Jan Kaláb (CZ) & Jose Di Gregorio (USA)

We are very excited to welcome Jan Kaláb and Jose Di Gregorio to Sweden, for a vibrant and dynamic duo show at Anohaao Gallery.

When Jan Kaláb was born in 1978 in Czechoslovakia, graffiti was not to be seen in the Eastern World. In the nineties, as the country was opening itself to western influences, he became one of the pioneer 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: he went through all the classical steps of a writer’s career. Through Europe, he made a name for himself as Cakes. Next step to the Hall of fame: New York, where he made a big impression by painting whole cars in 2000, alongside with Key and Rome. Around the same time, he found a new way to push his own limits and challenge himself: 3-D Graffiti. Under the name of Point, he sculpted huge abstracts letters he chose to put in the streets and on the walls. The higher the better. This was another form of graffiti, in daylight, and without spray, but truthful to the spirit of competition and innovation of the urban scene. Those sculptures lead him to abstraction, a path he’s been exploring through canvas from 2007, using acrylic painting and brushes. In the meantime, this admirer of Kupka graduated from the Academy of fine Arts of Prague – becoming the first Czech writer to do so. Jan Kaláb had his first solo exhibition in 2008 in Prague. Other solo exhibitions took place in Romania, Argentina, Germany and in the United States. With time, his forms became more and more geometric. He used colourful 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 is also crucial in his recent experiments, when he took pictures of some of his paintings in the streets of New York and other cities. The project became a social one, when he realised he needed help from strangers to carry the canvas. This is no surprise, since collective energy is crucial in his creative process. Kaláb 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 to 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.

Jose Di Gregorio is an interdisciplinary artist whose paintings and murals focus on intricate geometric patterns with a combination of vivid gradient colors and celestial nightscapes. The work depicts ethereal themes, and is often reminiscent of kaleidoscopes and visual tracers, fluctuating between order and chaos. Jose studied at Pont-Aven Contemporary Art School in Pont-Aven, France and received his BFA in painting from Herron School of Art and Design in 2006. He was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and lives in California.

Opening reception on May 11, between 13-16 (1-4 pm) & 19-21 (7-9 pm).