From the outside, the cheery green, decoratively painted Two Candles building is certainly intriguing. But as you walk inside you enter into an entirely different world. The gallery/coffee bar/ lounge/real estate office is, in a word, eclectic. And the man behind last year’s transformation of the space – from the carpentry, to the mural-covered floor, to the paintings on the walls – is Malinowski.
Like any artist, Malinowski is always putting his creativity to work. Of his focus these days, he says, “Actually I am creating space… I am a space artist. I’m designing space, just the feel of it… the art that is going in there. It is something that you actually have to see. It is very hard to describe. This is what I am doing besides the normal paintings. I do such a variety of art that it is very hard to pinpoint. I don’t even know how I would describe my art to people.”
Malinowski’s most recent creation is the new bar area at Two Candles, which transports you back to 1900s Paris. While the lighting is dark, it creates a warm glow upon the murals that surround the space, continuing onto the bar itself. It’s a cozy space to simply relax and disappear into.
At the age of 18, Malinowski decided to pursue a career in art. Since Germany has always been a creative center for arts, home to artists Kandinsky, Lieberman, Marc, Beckman, and Macke to name a few, Malinowski chose Berlin as his place of study. Today his inspiration for art comes from his experiences.
“Life is my teacher, my inspiration,” Malinowski says. "It has been a development over the last forty years. People like what I am doing. It is all different. Sometimes I change the space…sometimes it is form and color and sometimes the combination of everything.”
When asked if he does preliminary sketches or is guided by spontaneity as he approaches his work, Malinowski said, “It is different for each painting. Sometimes I have to lay it out. There are so many different ways to paint. If my customer wants something, then you talk with the customer. If you get the feeling and the vibration of it first, then it is for you and not for him. He has to feel good about it. This is not easy to answer at this point.”
Malinowski began exploring space at a young age when he painted murals on walls. He transformed this into a business. “I did art design for housing up in Montana, and I’ve been doing that for the last ten years. I decided to quit it, and this is basically how I ended up in Norwood.”
Jackson Pollack was an artist known to paint with any type of media he could find. The famous artist Leroy Neiman often tells a story of how Pollack would collect cans of lacquer left out on the sidewalk and use them for his drip paintings.
Malinowski works with the same flair. “I work with anything that I can get my hands on. I work with anything. If there is a painting involved, it could be oil, it could be acrylic, it could be latex…normal house paint. It depends on what you want. If you want to have a reproduction of a Rembrandt, then of course it will be in oils. I work with any material.”
A year and a half ago, Malinowski decided to open Two Candles with the hopes of providing a venue for local art. “Two Candles was created to create space in a place where so many artists are around here but they are hidden. Some of them don’t have space. The idea was to create a space where they could come out of their homes and use this space. I wanted to create a place that is a little bit different. This was the main inspiration. They are coming out of their places and checking it out. If you are an artist, you have to like space. You like to have a big studio where you can make a mess, and you don’t have to worry about anything. You can just focus upon your art.”
Malinowski’s advice for anyone thinking about pursuing a career in art is, “If the desire isn’t 50 percent, you won’t make it. You have it, but it is really not strong enough. If you have sixty percent desire, then you are always going to find something to do or somebody to help you. There is always somebody there.”
Since its opening, Two Candles has been featuring shows of work by local artists. Currently on display is a collection of Bob Hackman’s bright and vivid watercolors. Malinowski’s work can also be seen throughout Two Candles, as well as work by many other local artists. The space is open every day except Wednesday.