top of page
  • Bianca Vinther

The Artist as an Instrument of Grace: ART TALK with Krzysztof Klimek, Polish Painter & Photographer

Krzysztof Klimek or simply Kristof, which is less scary to read and pronounce by non-Polish speakers, is a genuinely kind and profoundly spiritual person. He is the sort of artist described by Henri Matisse in his art book Jazz as full of creative energy, truthful, and utterly modest.

A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Kristof displayed a stunning retrospective of his body of work in 2022 at the International Cultural Centre in Krakow - a cross-section of plein air and abstract paintings as well as photographs.

Read more about Kristof below, and listen to our talk on The Pointless Artist Blog > ART TALK with Krzysztof Klimek, or on THE POINTLESS ARTIST PODCAST on, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Picture of the Polish painter and photographer Krzysztof Klimek.
Krzysztof (Kristof) Klimek, Polish painter and photographer. Courtesy of the artist.

Kristof has acquired the gift of seeing beyond appearances and listening deeply via many years of art and spiritual practice. In addition to being a loving husband and a devoted dad to his three kids, Kristof paints. He paints pretty much everywhere, but mainly en plein air, like the masters of Barbizon did, and in his studio, as any serious artist does.

He is not a figurative or an abstract painter. He is, actually, both or in-between, like an antevasin (Sanskrit), "someone who exists between two realms".

As Kristof explained to me, he has been practicing abstraction to this day because abstraction is absolutely necessary for him to mute the “talkative" part of his mind and focus on signals from other "broadcast channels". As a means to recognise and contemplate a reality greater than himself that extends beyond his senses.

Forms are pared down in his abstract paintings to their essence, quietly witnessing the incomprehensible and undefinable ...

Two abstract paintings by the Polish artist Krzysztof Klimek.
Large format abstract paintings (140 x 100 cm) by Kristof Klimek. Photographies by Karolina Hałatek.

On the other hand, the plein air painting exposes Kristof to a wide range of unexpected, unusual, and sometimes startling situations, making the experience of painting from nature addictive. Plein air painting, he believes, “gives the painter a natural skeleton of forms and tensions that can easily and quickly be used to create a picture.”

Kristof’s plein air paintings, however, aren’t hyperrealistic. He observes and distils reality through the lenses of his artistic sensibility, the emotions he feels when out in nature, and the extensive knowledge of composition and colour.