His earlier paintings already refer to a repeating expression. The are already severely sparing and captivate by their precise eye for concrete detail. In his years as a student at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Art he undertook an intense study of the pure formalism of Francis Bacon. While the paintings from these years attempted to evade any kind of conveying communication, it can be claimed today that the possibility of a narration has taken the place of the erstwhile negating interpretation of the painting. His artistic reality now allows for interpretability. The painter is still for invention, yet he has given up his studied avoidance of stories. One could say this: His prayer has now taken the form of narration. Of course, his painting has changed considerably since this time. Yet, the experiences of his student years still resonate in his most recent paintings. They, too, are compact and full of form. Yet, besides the emergency of clarity, they still need an element of uncertainty.
...that which is moveable seems to be rigid and that which is appears to be uncanny
The inventiveness of his precise, very considered naturalism represses any obvious realism and forms he foundation of the specific modernity of his images. The various paths of narrative interpretability are based less on a conventional expression of description, than on a magically animated world, which develops ist own life. By means of this magical narration things move into a new light in which they begin to radiate themselves. The impression which is evoked by a contemplation of his pictures arouses a certain dizziness, a disturbance of the internal balance which is based on perception so that the accustomed order, the structure of our world with all its steadfastness is affected. Through him the objects become ambiguous, and they evoke the question as to what extent they can be trusted. Life and death, dream and reality flow strangely into each other. That which is moveable seems to be rigid and that which is appears to be uncanny.
Kalaizis has no set topic in mind which will appease the experts. For him the context lies more closely to existence. Ho follows no topic; rather, he produces topic. In this context it is not surprising that Kalaizis declares himself to be neither a realist a realist nor a surrealist. However, a realistic tendency cannot be denied, not so much because he represents every day situations, but because he is able to lend a radiant reality to the potential which is concealed in the most commonplace objects. For one must distinguish between a surface reality and an in-depth reality, which might explain why Kalaizis does not declare himself absolutely to be a realist. In any case one might be allowed to assume that, despite his earlier protestations, he expresses a reality which does not correspond with an outer reality, but rather captures his own inner reality in his paintings.
While he was influeced in his early years by the painting of the Englishman Francis Bacon, one painter has continuously accompanied him from his beginnings to the present day: Jusepe Ribera. He has had an unceasing admiration for the great, gloomy baroque painter and has given him the role of an authoritative teacher. In Ribera Kalaizis sees a painter „ ...who designs his hopeless existence in paintings.“ His paintings, however, have an increasing effect of objecting to Ribera, since more and more Kalaizis sees his own life as a „gift of existence“.
...high level of sense to the general, a mysterious appearance to the usual, the dignity of the unfamiliar to the familiar, and the appearance of infinity to the finite
In his painting Die große Hoffnung (The Great Hope) from the year 2002 Kalaizis has thus structured two people before a dilapidated backdrop of a location where there once had been much activity. In tis seemingly dreary landscape he has organized a dynamic of movement which begins with an apparently needy person in the background and extends itself diagonally up to the top left-hand corner of the painting, where the head of a seductively beautiful woman can be found. One could assume that the extended arm of the man is striving for his female temptation, who seems to be distancing herself from him. Yet Kalaizis has constructed this woman who dominates the space only as a facade. The actual formal structure as well as the center with regard to context ist he plastic bag. This object which is apparently floating upwards in the wind and which the artist painted with the only warm color tones in the picture, represents a metaphor for the Annunciation for the person who is lying on the ground.
This metaphor reflects a baroque scene for the Annunciation, one which had already occured via the presence of angels in early Christian paintings. The fact that the man is able to see allows him to understand the situation and this enlightens his dignity. The forcefulness which has been worked through the whole picture is based on the confrontation of two image worlds, two parallel universes. On the one hand there ist he iconography of medieval salvation-histories, on the other there is the media world of today’s visual offers of redemption. Kalaizis does not separate thes two worlds; he rather links them together by installing a poetic hinge. The two worlds are thus placed on top of each other in a mysterious manner, so that they can no longer be distinguished from each other. Elements from today receive the appearance of yesterday, and the past receives a taste of the present. Of course, the medieval promises of bliss stand for a universe of a certain sense which is closed in itself, and we feel this loss to be tragic today because we no longer have faith in this cosmos, but would like to have retained the sense of it. In The Great Hope Kalaizis avoids a decisive outcome and retains uncertainty within the realm of possibility, no matter how hopeful the message may seem. This painting is a paradigm which imparts secular elements, but which is by no means a secular painting.