Maik Kalberg (born in Tartu, 1987) is an Estonian painter and filmmaker. He went to Tartu Art Gymnasium and received his higher education in filmmaking from Baltic Film and Media and Arts School.

As an artist, Maik aims to create positive energy through his existence and creation; and to find a useful and practical behavior pattern the least. People shall not just be a burden for the environment they are a part of, but should use their existence to create something uplifting.

The Greenhouse series of paintings started from building a greenhouse for the artists’ retired father and finding the romantic side of botany and gardening. By observing the growth of plants as live beings, painting enabled to amplify the sense of progress and development even more. Greenhouse as an eco-system also symbolizes the matter of co-existence which on the colorful paintings is expressed by unexpected character and plant combinations. The harmony between plants of different sorts and sizes can be interpreted as a protest against inciting rage concerning race, family or gender. The artist points out that a person is never born a racist or homophobe – the anger derives from greed, colonialism and using religion and spirituality as weapons for controlling the society. Second, the greenhouse motive points at the environment, nature and climate and the critical situation of our planet. All of the above is done by playing with the symbols and elements of popular culture – figurative art, films and video games. Mixing elements from modern days and soviet times brings up a nostalgic feeling and memories, their development and changes and thereby identity-related questions at the crossing point of Eastern-Europe, the Baltics and Scandinavia. Finally, the Greenhouse series looks at the circle of life and death in general, by showing seasons as parts of the cycle of life in tough climate, where winter symbolizes death and summer symbolizes the rebirth of blooming life.


Maik Kalberg

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