Generally speaking one might first maintain that Kalaizis' life as up to now has been characterized by extraordinary constancy and appears to have been free of any larger excitements.
In 1966 he was born in Leipzig as the son of political emigrants from Greece. Interestingly, he grew up in the west of Leipzig on a street that was named after a painter: Lucas Cranach. His parents fleeing the Greek Civil War 1948/49 moved to the area, which at the time was a Soviet occupied zone. Growing up in a rather narrow-minded era, he first came to feel that he was different due to the cultural background of his parents, which might explain his early introvertedness. The insistence and decisiveness of his current paintings might well stem from this introversion. The introvertedness of his earlier days appears to have vanished, yet his consistent insistence has remained. The entirely personal character of this process is reflected in Kalaizis' statement: "...The more I became a painter, the easier it was for me to approach people, since there is perhaps no lonelier activity than concentrated painting." And he is not a nomadic painter, who offers for sale the foreign oddities he has dragged home. He remains, in accordance with his character, a settled type of painter, even though in the coming year he will take up a work scholarship in the USA. It can be implied that this settledness is a character trait which does not hinder the patient and concentrated developing of compositions.
...Kalaizis' paintings are a private journal, a kind of coded recording of his thoughts
Even before studying painting at the Leipzig Academy under Prof. Arno Rink, whose master-class student he became in 2001, he was interested in photography. Only later did he develop an interest in films. And, in fact, Kalaizis admits that for him the cinema is "...a pleasant shelter for my journey. There I try to find small utopias, which can put me in a state of amazement." Even though it appears that in his latest paintings he remembers certain film shots, it is always clear how decisively he acts as a painter. Both arts forms interest him insofar as they serve to assist his painting. Kalaizis does not paint according to drawings, but rather writes a script like a screenwriter. One is tempted to say that this writing is Kalaizis private journal, a kind of coded recording of his thoughts, a view which studies the view, the eye of the artist, which observes that which the eyes of the artist catch. All of the objects, all of the figures which we finally see in his paintings are creations which result from the act recording in writing. The act of writing of is, thus, a phase of his contemplation. Certainly, an element of doubt is embedded in this attitude: approaching nature by the act of drawing. After finishing his script Kalaizis does not follow only a single photograph, but has been increasingly following several photographs taken by himself, which differentiates him from the photorealists, who do not challenge the observer with a new reality. He does not strive to copy nature completely, rather his painting selects from an imaginative reality. With extreme precision he feels the weight and the unpredictability of objects, the elements of nature and the body, and he allows these components to be felt. Thus, his reality is nurtured on the one hand by his precision of seeing, and on the other hand it uses the creative strength of dreams.
A revitalizing course arises as a result and it follows that Kalaizis sees the task to be solved in the process of invention rather than in imitation. An artist who wants to represent a real or an imaginary object does not only begin by opening his eyes, but rather by searching for colors and shapes with which he can construct this object. We would fail to recognize the true character of his picture world, if we were to label his very detailed execution as an "imitation." In his paintings the manifestation of his vision takes absolute precedence over the reproduction of the objects themselves. And this does not so much concern observation as it does a tireless process of experimentation.
We know Plato rejected the art of his time since the artist does not evoke real objects but rather illusory objects, in other words, nothing but dreams and illusions. He thus compared the artist with a Sophist who deludes his audience by representing components which do not correspond with the real world. Plato continues by arguing that the similarities that the artist creates are only products of our imagination. We can say that Plato was aware of the close connection between the imagination of the artist and that of the audience, yet he misunderstood that the content of the new artistic creation gives birth to a new reality, since it soon began to be recognized that painting not only opens a window to the visible world, but also serves as an instrument to unlock inner worlds.
...in the depths of our psyche for the unexpressed and inexpressible
However, this resulted in the fact that from then on even the slightest interpretation of pictures required an intellectual approach. Of course even a painting such as Kalaizis' "Brancard" (2004) utilizes all of the artistic techniques such as light, perspective and so on, but not in order to create a harmonic effect, but rather to lead it into a condition of unsolved and unsolvable conflicts. The explosion in the upper corner of the painting is only intimated and is casually presented. Between the guiding flower, a frequently appearing motif, and the inferno we find an encoded woman. Seemingly unaffected by the occurrences, she climbs up the stairs, carrying a handbag. And this is where Kalaizis' paintings speak to us, like a hidden image or a picture puzzle, which challenge our entire astuteness and force us to search from within the depths of our psyche for the unexpressed and inexpressible. In this way Kalaizis' paintings might reveal their secret. Their sense is only slightly touched through our senses, only intimated. An example, such as listening to static-filled recordings, might illustrate how an attempt at interpretation is able to irreversibly change that which was actually heard.