Joseph Gielniak was born in a family of Polish immigrants in France, where he finished high school, studied for a year at the famous Ecole des Beaux Arts in Vallenciennes. For the Polish came in 1950 with the intention of studying at the Department of Consular and Diplomatic in Warsaw. With their plans but had to resign due to lung disease. At the age of 21 was sent to a sanatorium in Bukowiec near Kowary in Lower Silesia, where he spent almost his entire adult life, there arose all his artwork. Architecture and environment sanatorium were also the most frequent motifs of his work, though not always taken literally.