© Karol Kalinowski
© Karol Kalinowski | Turbolechici | Cover for the second volume of the “Bohaterowie Kosmosu” series. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Sheptooha, 2018. | 2018

Karol Kalinowski

  • nickname KRL
  • born 1982
  • born in Suwałki
  • he lives and creates his works in Olsztyn
  • he specializes in comics and illustrations

“If I did not create comics, I would be a gold digger. In Poland. It boils down to the same thing. You have to work hard in both jobs, you won’t make a fortune, but you will have a lot to talk about”.

He studied at the Faculty of Art of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. In 2006, he graduated from graphic design, supervised by dr hab. Piotr Obarek. He has taken part in individual and group exhibitions in Poland (including in Warsaw and Olsztyn) as well as in Russia, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic or Portugal.

The most important publications: “Liga Obrońców Planety Ziemia. Mroczna Wizja”, Egmont, 2004; “Liga Obrońców Planety Ziemia. Atak Totalny”, Egmont, 2005; “Yoel 1. Święty Smok i Jerzy”, Taurus Media, 2007; “Łauma”, Kultura Gniewu, 2009; “Kościsko”, Kultura Gniewu, 2016; “Furkot”, Sheptooha, 2018; ‘’Turbolechici”, Sheptooha, 2018.

The most important awards and distinctions: award of the Polish Comics Association in the Best Polish Comics category, Warsaw, 2009; the Best Polish Comics Album, International Festival for Comics and Games in Łódź, 2010; “Nagroda im. Ferdynanda Wspaniałego” for the Best Polish Book for Children, Krakow, 2016.

Karol Kalinowski is famous for his characteristic contrasting style of drawing. He combines grotesque, ostensibly simplified and infantile strokes with precise shading and extensive chiaroscuro. He puts together economical panel elements in the cartoons style, devoid of extensive detail, with carefully hatched fragments.
He uses soft transitions from a part of a panel full of dense lines through increasingly looser strokes up to an entirely empty white area. For Kalinowski, white is something more than simply the absence of black: it functions as an autonomous colour. Fragments of his drawings devoid of any strokes are equally expressive as those filled with black.
White elements with no borders are often contrasted with precise, thin, and dense strokes. The artist sometimes resigns from contours of characters; other times, to the contrary, he uses a very strong and grotesque contour. Kalinowski chooses classic means of expression and, at the same time, he makes use of the possibilities of the comics to the maximum extent, e.g. he intentionally divides an image into three panels, and the white gutters between them sometimes occur to be an actual border, and sometimes an illusory one, which is partially covered by a character emerging from the panel.
The visual layer of his comics includes many references to pop culture (characters such as Dracula or Lord Vader from the “Star Wars”), films (scenes from “The Shining” by Stanley Kubrick), or paintings (e.g. “The Luncheon on the Grass” by Éduoard Manet or “Bedroom in Arles” by Vincent van Gogh).

Karol Kalinowski Gallery

© Karol Kalinowski | Turbolechici | Page from the second volume of the “Bohaterowie Kosmosu” series. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Sheptooha, 2018. | 2018
© Karol Kalinowski | Turbolechici | Page from the second volume of the “Bohaterowie Kosmosu” series. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Sheptooha, 2018. | 2018
© Karol Kalinowski | Furkot | “Furkot” is a cosmic story about a cosmic cat in space… probably because the comic book is a part of the “Bohaterowie Kosmosu” series. This is a tribute paid to the pop-culture of the 1980s. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Sheptooha, 2018. | 2018
© Karol Kalinowski | Furkot | “Furkot” is a cosmic story about a cosmic cat in space… probably because the comic book is a part of the “Bohaterowie Kosmosu” series. This is a tribute paid to the pop-culture of the 1980s. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Sheptooha, 2018. | 2018
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | Cover of the third edition of “Łauma”. In “Łauma”, I wanted to capture as much as possible from my home region, that is to say the region of Suwałki. I drew a comic for people of my age but it turned out that it revived comics for children. That is the best pigeonhole I could have been put into. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu 2016. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | Cover of the third edition of “Łauma”. In “Łauma”, I wanted to capture as much as possible from my home region, that is to say the region of Suwałki. I drew a comic for people of my age but it turned out that it revived comics for children. That is the best pigeonhole I could have been put into. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu 2016. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | One of pages from “Łauma”. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2009. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | One of pages from “Łauma”. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2009. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | Another page from “Łauma”. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2009. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | Another page from “Łauma”. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2009. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | Another page from “Łauma”. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2009. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Łauma | Another page from “Łauma”. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2009. | 2009
© Karol Kalinowski | Kościsko | A comic book cover. In “Łauma”, I was quite faithful to the mythology. In “Kościsko”, I treated the mythology as a starting point; as a result, I managed to touch even science fiction, with robots and time and space tunnels, in a family, Slav story. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2016. | 2016
© Karol Kalinowski | Kościsko | A comic book cover. In “Łauma”, I was quite faithful to the mythology. In “Kościsko”, I treated the mythology as a starting point; as a result, I managed to touch even science fiction, with robots and time and space tunnels, in a family, Slav story. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2016. | 2016
© Karol Kalinowski | Kościsko | Example of a comic book page. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2016. | 2015
© Karol Kalinowski | Kościsko | Example of a comic book page. | Story: Karol KRL Kalinowski. | Published by: Kultura Gniewu, 2016. | 2015

More information about the artist: facebook.com/kaerel.studio

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