Love him or hate him, David Černý is one very popular artist in Prague. What would normally be displayed only in a modern art gallery, David Černý's wonderful masterpieces are displayed throughout an entire city. This is definitely not exactly something people want to miss either. His controversial works make him a very talked about sculptor, sometimes in a negative manner. Yet, people remain captivated and still ask for more. His messages are sometimes subtle but usually quite clear within his displays. From giant babies to urinating statues, Czech art doesn't believe in censors. Most of the sculptures are large in size and they are spread all across the capital. Here is a list to consider on this interesting sculpture walk:
The pictures are all in order at the top of the page
THE PEEING STATUE
The bronze basin below is shaped in the form of the Czech Republic that the statues appear to be urinating on. You can also send an SMS text message to the number displayed beside the statue. The statues will then proceed to write the message with their urine. Quite interesting!
MAN HANGING OUT
You must really make sure to bring your map to pinpoint this piece of art or look at the people surrounding you as they are looking way up. They're not looking at the sky, they're actually looking at a David Černý statue with his portrayal of Sigmund Freud (one of the founders of modern-day psychology and psychoanalysis) hanging from a pole with one arm. There are many interpretations to the statue as a mocking of Freud's own phobias (like his fear of death) or that of the human condition of making the choice of letting go or hanging on to life.
These giant-sized crawling sculptures had been presented and popularized in Modern art museums worldwide before appearing in the Czech Republic. Now they can be found at many locations, such as in front of the Museum Kampa or in the Žižkov district where Černý resided at the time of the project. The babies were placed on the Žižkov Television Tower, which used to be a communications tower and propaganda tool during the Communist era. The tower is located outside the city center yet is still visible from afar, especially when it lights up in the colours of the Czech flag at night. The observation deck inside the tower offers a panoramic view of the city.
In utero is probably the most controversial yet intriguing piece of art created. This large stainless steel pregnant lady captures everyone's attention. She is laid out in a very provocative position as she is kneeling and in the nude. This bizarre statue allows the public to climb freely inside to experience being inside the womb. David Černý definitely reaches to another level of quirkiness here but still quite astounding how he can cross all lines imaginable.
Another unusual work of art you may miss if you don't pay attention is the pink human embryo. It hangs from a drain pipe on the corner of Narodni Divaldo and it glows at night.
Have you ever wanted to see a dead horse suspended from a ceiling? Well now you can. Take a look at this parody of the popular Statue of St Wenceslas with an upside down horse made out of polystyrene. The director of the Post Office refused the piece of art, claiming that it was “way too much”. Can you actually believe after all the pieces presented so far that somebody would claim such a thing about David Černý art?
Finally, take a walk to the garden of the Futura museum to witness a real spectacle; two giant statues bent at the waist. Climb the ladder and stick your head in the rear end to view former Czech president Václav Klaus and the head of the National Gallery Milan Knížák feeding each other with a spoon to the sound of Queen's "We are the Champions" song. This one is so improper and so funny in so many ways.
We thoroughly enjoyed viewing these masterpieces as well as many others spread all across the city. Art has become an important part of Czech culture and allows people to express themselves in a way they weren't able to before. David Černý definitely knows how to shake things up and the lack of censors makes his works even more interesting for anyone with an open mind to explore. We hope you scrolled through the pictures above.
The links below will help you locate David Černý's most popular works: