Happy 50th Birthday, David Černý!

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

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David Černý celebrates today his 50’s birthday.

Born in Prague December 15, 1967, 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.

In 2000 Černý nabbed the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for the country’s most promising visual artist aged 35 or younger. Previously, in 1990, he had received a special prize at the Biennale in Kortrijk, Belgium. During 1996 he won a grant from the Pollack Krasner Foundation in the USA. 

His first piece, in 1990, was a rendition of a Trabant on legs. The Trabant car was made in East Germany and this work was inspired by the many East Germans who sought refuge in the grounds of the West German Embassy in Prague during 1989, leaving their Trabants littered about the surrounding streets.

His later sculptures are much more shocking and controversial, beginning with the aforementioned pink tank, on the turret of which he constructed an erect middle finger. This tank was painted and repainted many times before being moved to its permanent location in a military museum south of Prague.

There are many of Černý’s sculptures in Prague. Two of the best known are the creepy, giant babies crawling outside Kampa Park, with smooth bottoms and smashed-in faces, and the nine babies climbing up the Žizkov Television Tower (actually under maintenance).

One unusual Černý work, because it’s more serious and straightforward than his others, is the massive, rotating Kafka head located near the office building where Kafka worked briefly as an unhappy clerk at an insurance company. 

Author: red

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