20th century paintings, classical music, exposure to art and poetry, love for nature… all of that was present in Mariusz Kałdowski’s life since he can remember. Old paintings, portraits hanging in the neighbour’s house at first made him stop to have a quick glance but the older he got, the more he wished to admire those masterpieces; spending hours on end watching and analysing every detail. Love for creation was awakening in the young artist and mastering the skills since a young age was strongly encouraged by his dad who instill sensitivity for beauty in him. ‘For many years through my paintings, I wanted to show the connection between human beings and the beauty of the world around, beauty created by God… Years later, on top of that there is the aspect of evanescence and the fact that beauty and goodness are not always in the first place, it all depends on our choices.
Photography by Radek Niemczynowicz
“People are like gardens, and gardens are like people” series created many years ago show that incredible combination. On the one hand, painting beautiful gardens, and on the other; human faces, figures, and all this filled with sun and music, this can be the greatest painterly life inspiration’. As the Artist in Residence in Regent’s Park he was surrounded by nature, his biggest inspiration ‘…Every year I made a series of paintings about this park and each year in the summer, I had a monthly exhibition within its premises, sitting among my paintings and meeting with people passing by.’
Benjamin Britten 100/100 cm
His passion for creation, capturing fleeting moments and unique atmosphere of certain views and landscapes was noticed by experts and in 2000 artist received an award (one of many) for ‘Expressing the Essential Spirit of Holland Park.’ Mariusz’s dad played a big role in his artistic journey; his love for beauty had a fundamental impact on the young artist. As a musician, pianist and composer he tried to teach him how to play an instrument and he definitely instilled music in him ‘I am addicted to classical music. Unfortunately, I can’t play any instrument. My dad tried to teach me but he gave up after a few months.’ Painting and music seem to be inseparable; it is an endless source of inspiration and a lot of artwork was created under the influence of music, one of them is an enormous frieze inspired by Vivaldi ‘In 1994, I was a scenographer in one of the theatres in Szczecin; during one of the night rehearsals, my colleague played ‘’Four Season’’. The room was completely empty, only my friend and I were in the audience; the music filled the room and my heart. Years later, I painted a 22×1,5 metre painting called ‘’Four seasons, Four stages of life’’. That painting was very often used during concerts as a background on stage – it is an amazing combination of music and painting, that inspired me even more and lead to other creations, e.g. Chopin, Piazzolla, Mussorgsky, Britten…’.
Lucian Freud & Me 100/150 cm
His work as a scenographer gave him a lot of opportunities to watch actors and artists on stage; he observed and learnt how roles were created but he loved observing their faces which impacted his work greatly. ‘Watching actors playing on stage, observing their faces filled with emotions, has become a great lesson to me and taught me how to paint portraits and how to fill my paintings and drawings with emotions; this also allowed me to look at human life as a process’. A few years later, I created a series of 30 portraits of people important to me for my development as a man and artist. I have titled this series ‘Velis Passis’ (With Outstretched Wings, Sails). These were large-format paintings; they were large close-ups of faces painted very expressively with large brush strokes (in acrylic). They posed for me and I spent time talking to these people, and they were outstanding people of art, literature, musicians, actors, writers, philosophers, etc… and then I was able to positively enter human fates, paint faces with all my emotions and feelings. A clear palette of emotions.’
Clapham Common at night 80/100 cm
Written By Agnieszka Kowalczewska
Mariusz Kałdowski, painter, portraitist (Family portrait painter for a number of years for Fred Olsen), illustrator, graphic designer, winner of many international awards and artist of the year (on many occasions), graduated with MA in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.
His work can be found around the world. http://www.kaldowskigallery.co.uk
Pergola 100/80 cm