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Andriy Kalkov - Interview

Andriy Kalkov was born in Lutsk, Ukraine, where he lives and works. In 2012, he completed his studies in monumental painting at the Lviv National Academy of Arts. In his work, he develops the series "The Circulation", which has become an endless source of his inspiration. Kalkov uses the symbol of the spiral, which he transforms into new modern forms, more precisely into art objects created in the 8-bit and op-art style. Kalkov took part in many urban festivals and more than 30 collective exhibitions all over the world.


1. Where you are from and where do you live?

Hi. I’m from Lutsk, Ukraine. I live here all my life, from time to time I travel to create murals and art objects.



2. How long have you been painting on the streets?

I started painting around 2000. At first it was tags, later I started doing simple bombings in the city and more complex fonts in abandoned areas. And sometimes I also made stickers and stencils. In 2006 I started studying monumental art and making more abstract street art. Subsequently, around 2010, I formulated the idea of the series of works "Circulation", then I fully understood that I wanted to deviate from classical graffiti and rather immerse in the world of optical art.



3. How would you describe postgraffiti/street art scene today and 12 years

ago?

It is very difficult to describe the difference between the state of postgraffiti today and 12 years ago around the world. I hardly notice any significant changes in the visual language, but there are considerable changes in my information space. For example, years ago in Ukraine it was not easy to find information about street art and graffiti. At first we saw it only in video clips and Polish magazines, later in Ukrainian magazines and on the Internet. In the period from 2010 to 2020, there was a boom in murals in Ukraine, before there were practically none at all, and at that time they began to appear in hundreds. What I find very nice is that a lot of artists I've followed have developed a lot.



4. Can you tell us more about the Concept of “Circulation”?

The main symbol of this series is the spiral movement - an eternal symbol of perception, for centuries one of the most popular ornamental decors in the world. Interestingly, this symbol was present on all continents. I decided to encode the spiral into pixels and geometric modules, which for me are a symbol of the modern world. The spiral has one challenging feature - it dives in and expands out, which is also the main aim of series: everyone has to explore themselves and find inspiration and knowledge to share with the world around them. This is the only way we can build our better future.



5. Colors and Forms play a very important role in your work, can you tell

us more about them?

I try to pay a lot of attention to color in my work. There is no clear formula, the main thing is that all the colors interact with each other and create an attractive mood. I also often like to combine clean and bright colors with soft and subtle colors. In this way, they reinforce each other's action.

As for the form, it's almost always about dynamics. I really like to create active and energetic compositions, I believe that it can be inspiring and motivating and change the environment in which the piece is located.



6. On what media do you practice your work?

I traditionally work with acrylic and aerosols on walls and canvases. I also like to create digital works, NFT’s and a large number of printed products in the form of stickers, posters and prints. Recently I have started to combine canvas printing (UV ink or Ultrachrome ink) where part of the work is painted by hand. This allows me to realize my ideas faster, while each work remains unique without replication.


7. Are you waiting for inspiration to start working?

I never wait for inspiration while working. The main thing is to start and it will come. I try to work more because there are many ideas and time is always short. I'm also into biohacking, taking brain supplements, trying to keep my body and mind in balance to be more productive. Of course, I usually take a day or two off a week or sometimes a little more after finishing a big project.



8. What was your last 2 projects?

I would like to mention my two latest wal projects. The first of them is the mural "Flower of Democracy" painted together with DXTR TheWeird in Berlin and the second project is the wall "War is ... when art becomes a national flag" painted in Lutsk street gallery "4/8". Unfortunately, the last time for Ukrainians is very difficult because of the Russian aggression. Now we often use art for charity and help the Ukrainian army and, of course, to tell the world about this difficult and terrible time.


I really want us to be able to live peacefully and develop fully again.


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