In fact, it is how their paths crossed. Małgosia reminisces, “We met by a lake. He sailed into my life on a yellow boat.” (An affinity for the poetic seems to underline everything they say and touch.) They’ve been together ever since. Shortly after meeting, they moved to Vienna where Małgosia learned German and Wojtek developed rather useful design skills working in the electronics arena. With a strong entrepreneurial and creative bent, the two have dabbled in many different fields, such as gardening and translating, though they’ve never stepped into an office. “Freedom above all!” being their motto.
Serendipity turned them into hoteliers. They came upon a plot of land being sold at a good price, and it got them to thinking about opening a hotel. “We were ready to take over the place and we already had a big furniture collection. We wanted to tie it in somehow with a gallery that we had always wanted,” says Wojtek. Being perfectionists, they soon realized that once the hotel was built, they couldn’t entrust their precious creation to a stranger; so the couple decided to run it themselves.
The two have become a magnet for the Polish creative scene, with artists and designers flocking down to Galery69 from different parts of the country. But none of this attention has fazed the down-to-earth couple who cite their best “showing” as one where only four people were invited: Małgosia, Wojtek, and two artist friends. They set up the preview as one would normally, including a table laden with a feast. Małgosia describes the event, which displayed her work along with the work of two artist friends: “We drank wine together, carefully looked at every picture, and discussed it. And then we ate together in this empty room. And one of our friends, who is a big Polish artist, asked the other friend: Have you ever had such a wonderful preview? The friend replied: “No, never!” Perhaps therein lies the charm and magic of this unorthodox couple: their power to turn intimacy and creative energy into something unique and lasting.