Minimal art Street-art

Jan Kaláb: from street art to minimal abstract

Jan Kaláb (also sometimes known as POINT or CAKES) works on vast outdoor spaces to add pulsating concentric circles of color. The Czech artist grew up in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, where graffiti and street art were non-existent. In the 1990’s, Kaláb paved a path for the graffiti community by founding a crew as the Cold War ended and Western influences came to the Czech Republic.

Kaláb has worked around the world crafting abstract shapes, especially circles, “as an obsessive vocabulary for infinite variations around depth, time, and motion. Playing with circles [brings] organic imperfection and swing into his work” according to a statement on the artist’s website. Kaláboften works on adjacent or curved surfaces to heighten the play between structure and perception in his vibrant murals.

Kaláb also has a robust body of work that is shown in galleries, with his first solo exhibition in 2008. The artist’s most recent show “SHAPE & TONE” just ended at Fabien Castanier Gallery in Miami.

«I think the real soul of graffiti is competition – in a good way. To make your mark, you need to do more and better than the other guy and the other guy likewise. It creates healthy competition and where there is competition, there is evolution. This formula works in any field. So, basically, I keep the same attitude as when I had been doing Cakes pieces on walls and trains.

I developed 3D graffiti sculptures because just writing your name became too narrow. To get into the third dimension was the first step to the so-called fine art. It was an act of going into unknown territory. Naturally, the experience of working in space influenced the flat painting.

It is, of course, great to still see some of my pieces around the streets, sure, but most of them are gone forever. Graffiti is an ephemeral technique – it fades out in a couple of years. I didn’t care when I was a kid, now I want to create long-standing things.


To work abstract and minimal is much more difficult than having a specific theme like a figure of letters. I feel that I’m digging somewhere without knowing the right direction, hoping to discover something totally new. On this journey, I repeat and repeat until the work becomes different little by little. Sometimes, I create a different line of work. I try to keep it all fun in my work.

Inspiration is, for instance, how successful artists have brought their work on their paths so far.»

Jan Kaláb, from an Interview with Un-hidden Romania

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