Reading Between The (Dots And) Lines

I meet Polish artist Pawe? Zawi?lak, aka Kropki Kreski (meaning dots and lines in Polish), as he is preparing for his current show, “Dots, Lines & Me” at the Polish Institute Berlin. At this point he still has a way to go until the show is ready to be unveiled, and I find him sitting on the floor, surrounded by paint and felt tips, attentively painting flies on one of the walls.

He explains that he wants to paint hundreds of flies, swarming from the painting of a pig he is going to do in the bathroom. I ask how the process is going and he replies positively, although he then goes onto laugh and say “a show in Berlin is like suicide…there is art everywhere anyway, so it’s hard.”

Kropki KreskiThe vivid 40th birthday portrait “Polish Makeup Artists Wear Ford” by Kropki Kreski. Photo: C Phillips

That isn’t to say that Kreski does not like Berlin, on the contrary––he adores it for the same reasons. He elaborates, “I love Berlin, I love street art, I love every corner. For me the visual aspect of a city is very important, and everything I can see here is interesting somehow. I also like the mixture of architecture, of new and old.”

A Dream Come True

Studying art in Wroc?aw meant that Kreski could visit Berlin often, and he endearingly describes his encounters with the Polnisches Institut: “I was always passing this street and thinking ‘someday I’ll exhibit here.’ I was always jealous, standing on the other side of the glass thinking it was so cool, but today I am here!” It has not been an easy journey though, and Kreski had to spend a couple of years earning money in Germany picking blueberries and other crops before receiving the first of two scholarships to continue his studies.

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