Filip Kalkowski

Born 21-th of july 1979 in Gdańsk.
Graduated with MFA degree i Academy of Fine Artsin Gdańsk in 2006 under supervision of prof. Witosław Czerwonka and prof. Zygmunt Okrassa.

Artistic practice encompasses painting, sculpture, graphic arts, drawing, poster design and music


Collective exhibition „Artists againts War”, Kolonia Artystów, Gdańsk Stocznia
Student’s exhibiton of graphic art, “Żak”, Gdańsk

Collective painting exhibition Kolonia Artystów, Gdańsk Stocznia
Collective exhibition of lithography on the occasion of 60 Anniversary of Radio Gdańsk, Gdańsk

Vernisage – Installation, PGR Art, Gdańsk Stocznia

Collective exhibition of graphic art, Lipsk, Germany
Collective exhibition of litography, The Cyprian K. Norwid Public Library, Elbląg
Poster exhibition Feta 2008, “Plama”, Gdańsk
“Art picnic”, Stary Rynek Oliwski 3 Studio, Gdańsk
Action “Wet paint”, Gdańsk
Collectiv Painting Exhibition “Muzyką malowane”, Art Palace in Kraków
Collectiv Painting Exhibition “Muzyką malowane”, Muzeum “Dwory Korwacjanów i Gładyszów” w Garlicach
Publicacion of the paintings with Gdańsk in main theme as a advertisement – Newsweek, Przekrój, Gazeta Wyborcza,
Wizzair Magazine

Painting exhibition, Triada Gallery, Sopot
Painting exhibition, National Art Gallery, Sopot
Painting exhibition, „Schody” Gallery, Warszawa
Painting exhibition, Art Gallery, Ostrołęka
Contest exhibition, II Painting Triennial „Animalis”, MM Gallery, Chorzów
Art camp exhibition, Grodno Exhibition Hall
ArtLoop Festival, Sopot
Installation in public place, Sopot


Painting exhibition, Grodno Exhibition Hall

Painting exhibition, Mostowa ArtCafe, Kraków

Painting exhibition, The Modern Art Center, Suwałki

Painting exhibition + Filth of mankind show, Sopot National Art Gallery, Sopot

„Armenian Palette 2012” Art symposium, Odzun, Armenia (in cooperation with Sopot National Art Gallery)

Painting exhibition, On Hall Galery, Gdańsk


Painting exhibition, Van den Berg Gallery , Warszawa

Installation „By the eyes of the rider of apocalypse”, Streetwaves, Gdańsk

Collective exhibition „To lubię II”, National Art Gallery in Sopot, Sopot, Poland


Painting exhibition, Galeria Szalom, Kraków, Poland

Art camp exhibition, Galeria R & A, Wilno, Lithuania

Collective exhibition „Widnokrąg”, Zatoka Sztuki, Sopot, Poland

Collective exhibition „Testrakete 1.0”, Berlin, Germany

Performance „Eat your cross”, City Gallery of Gdańsk

Painting exhibition, CSW, Kołobrzeg, Poland (in cooperation with Sopot National Art Gallery)

Art Residency, Fresh Eggs Gallery, Berlin


Painting Plein-Air, Vilnius, Lituania

Plein-Air exhibition, R&A Gallery, Vilnius, Lituania

Painting Plein-Air, Schwaan, Germany

Plein-Air exhibition, Kunstmuhle Schwaan, Germany

Art Residency Hotel „Dnister”, Iwano-Frankiwsk, Ukraine

Artist’s Revolution 2, art plein-air, Fragneto-Monforte, Italy

„Palindrome”, collective exhibition, Sopot National Art Gallery, Sopot, Poland

Painting Exhibition, Lvov National Art Gallery, Lvov, Ukraine (organizer: Sopot National Art Gallery)


Painting exhibition, FreshEggsGallery, Schwerin, Germany

Painting exhibition, KIT Gallery, Sopot, Poland

Collective exhibition, „City/Human/Plant“, KIT Gallery, Sopot, Poland

Collective exhibition, NoBudgetShow, Stefan Gierowski Fundation, Warsaw, Poland

„This view has potential“, collective exhibition, Miasto Ogrodów, Katowice, Poland


„Collection of the National Gallery of Art. 2017 Shopping” National Art Gallery, Sopot, Poland

Painting Exhibition „Life is elsewhere“, National Art Gallery, Sopot, Poland


Polyphony 4: ĀTMAN | Interdisciplinary Exhibition Berlin

Painting and Drawing Exhibition Cafe Neue Liebe, Berlin ,Germany


Eine Frage der Zeit / KünstlerInnen aus dem Rechenzentrum, Kunstraum, Potsdam


— Is it necessary to take the burden of the whole world upon oneself?
— Yes, but for the purpose of making it light and bearable.
Adam Zagajewski

The Mystique of Framing the World by Hand

Mastery in the use of the brush and the colour palette has until now inspired trust and admiration among the public, yet today it may be that we negate the values embedded in this hitherto prevailing, sophisticated art form. Before our very eyes we are witnessing the emergence of another aesthetic hierarchy, which models itself on the primeval simplicity of feeling. It removes the final frontiers which have until now protected works of art; it disregards the hierarchy of beauty and ugliness. A new breed of talented artists has emerged – those who reject the art of drawing, painting or photography. These skills hamper one’s work – unlike, perhaps, manuals for the use of HD equipment or a talent for composing something as a whole, which was previously God-given. Simple-to-use, fast-operating electronic equipment allows the artist to instantaneously see the result of his or her own work and to show it to a wider public. There used to be a time when the workshops of great masters, artists’ guilds and art academies “separated” the artistic talent of those with a sensitive eye and hand from the general public.
Would it hold true if we said that in our century we have the same number of artists as we have mobile phones?
— Yes, indeed.

Fortunately, in art, the criteria which remain in place are the artist’s personality and the time-added value of the artistic work. In fact, as it is, the form of a masterpiece is a secondary issue. The methods of composing a masterpiece represent just a material expression of an idea – be it a symphony orchestra, a paintbrush, a computer or a camera. If there is no reflection on the side of the author, the whole work is reduced to a decorative item – which could even be a beautiful avant-garde piece, but would remain empty, nonetheless. There is still truth in the claim that an artist is a real artist only intermittently.
Let us stay with the symphony orchestra.
The mutually supplementing works of Joanna and Filip register normal states, joy and serenity which have nowadays been expelled from art. Paintings on easels which advise people to get a cure, dream and rest after work, or ride a tram. Isn’t it sheer audacity today to just paint like this – oil painting on canvas?
— Of course, it is.

But, if we could listen to what Filip Kalkowski says (I quote from memory):
— I paint frames of reality which I direct myself. This is my commentary on everything that happens to us in our lives. At times I will show the things that annoy us, at others – what makes us calm. I paint my pictures, generally, with the intention of comforting and consoling both myself and the viewer. To find the sense of life. Or, equally often, to show how sense is missing from what I can see around me. There are moments when I just keep on painting, without stopping to think, spontaneously. I am interested in the world and all its aspects and sides.
— I don’t like to give titles to my pictures; I give them to my pictures only when I want to impose direction to the reception of the situation I painted. A good thing is when the viewer feels déjà vu of sorts, when he or she finds his or her own meaning in my work. There are situations when only during a discussion about the painting, am I able to detect its true message.
— Why paint realistic works?
— This is what I like. I have always loved this style of painting, but I have no intention of stopping at this point. I want to combine the world I paint in my pictures with the short-hand language of the posters which are being created at the same time in my painting workshop. I already feel a strong urge towards this …

This is all – or as much as – Filip says about himself.
I sent an e-mail to the beautiful Joanna Rusinek, asking her to give me her views on the objective and principles of her art.
— Emotional states is what I think it is. But read for yourselves – no abbreviations.

Hi, Joanna here; it’s hard to describe anything so banal and uncomplicated (chuckle). Gee, it’s a hard task; sorry to present you with this one. Well, this is because it is so difficult to describe something you are born with and you’ll die with, an activity which is a need in itself, well… you know what I mean…
I paint, draw, and make posters because this is a way of life for me. Taken in a simplistic way – this is the simplest and the hardest way of life, both at the same time. The pencil and brush have been my trusted companions since I was a child, constant and unwavering friends – yet not subservient: they always mobilize me to act. I paint because this is food for my senses; this is what makes me learn, discover, get an insight into myself, into the relationship between myself and the world, between people. This is an emotional vent… just like dance or any other form of art. If I weren’t a painter, I would probably be addicted to dancing. In my life, I find it difficult to give up things – and the same applies to painting. This is why I still keep searching for the form that suits me, the way in which I can articulate my thoughts through colour or shape. I am looking for a language which will determine me and my place in the world.
My ideas come from all around. Sometimes it’s a dream in my sleep, sometimes I can hear music playing and see dancing silhouettes, sometimes I dance my own dance… and other times I freeze up a movie frame or, perhaps, I get immersed in the literary work of Kapuściński – and what I get as a result are children’s portraits. At other times, someone dear to me comes to mind, who I want to keep close, so I enclose that person in a two-dimensional, four-angled frame.
Whatever shows up in the picture is a consequence of emotions, feelings, joys or sorrows, for which I seek a form. I try to determine their form. I don’t put a name to this form, because I suspect, anyway, that I am quite an exhibitionist. When I reach the level of camouflage I want, and when I completely cover up any traces – and this is what I strive for, though perhaps I haven’t reached an adequate level of maturity yet – then I will give them names.
There’s no deeper philosophy behind this. I don’t know any other way – this is simply my way towards spiritual survival.

End of quote. Ryszard the Dog, who unites the family, remains silent. A bulldog.

I obtained these responses straight, with no decorative wrapping for the press. I have known this artistic pair: “the Master and Joanna” since their first year of studies at the art academy in Gdańsk. Richard, the family’s uniting factor, came into play later. Together, the pair have created a Free Professional Union – and that’s how it started for real.
I wish both of you and each of you a long journey – your own enchanted journey.

Associate Prof. Zygmunt Okrassa, PhD
November 2009