March 2, 2015

David Černý - revolting?

1. rise in rebellion.
2. cause to feel disgust.

Born in 1967 in Prague, Černý learned his trade from 1988 to 1996 at the Academy of Applied Arts in the country’s capital. He spent several years abroad, studying in Boswil during 1991 after receiving a grant from the Swiss government. He lived in New York City from 1994 to 1996 where he first enrolled at P.S.I Artists Residence New York and later took part in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Lots of his work can be seen in many locations throughout Prague. His output tends to be somewhat controversial and often shocks those who unexpectedly bump into it while strolling through Prague's late medieval alleys. He gained notoriety in 1991 by painting a Soviet tank pink, to serve as a war memorial in central Prague. As the Monument to Soviet tank crews was still a national cultural monument at that time, his act of civil disobedience was considered "hooliganism" and he was briefly arrested.

When asked why he created a fountain sculpture featuring male figures that urinate into an enclosure shaped like the Czech Republic he stated that “I just enjoy pissing people off”. I am not sure if his statements should be taken at face value. I often get the feeling that he's just putting on a show, wanting to create the impression that he's punk, that he doesn't think before he does, that he's all about fucking with authority, consequences be damned... Although those elements sure play a large part in many of his creations I also get the feeling there is a very different side to Černý. The side that made works like Metalmorphosis and Speed seems to be much less concerned with pissing people off and more with depicting aspects of the human condition we take for granted but perhaps should not.

Apologies for the sometimes poor quality of the included pictures. I've searched far and wide for decent ones but he does not seem to have a huge online presence. In fact, some of his best stuff is missing from this album. His art travels the world though so if it ever shows up in an exhibit near you, make sure to go take a look! :)


London Booster


2 men pissing

Cerny sculpture work

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