David Černý: Artist-Provocateur
Czech artist David Černý (b 1967) first made international headlines in 1991 when he painted Prague’s memorial to the WWII Soviet tank crews bright pink, a shocking display that managed to mock both the former communist government’s over-enthusiastic celebration of Soviet war prowess and its rewriting of history. Since then, Černý has cultivated a reputation as the enfant terrible of the Prague art scene – his works often turn into major media events, occasionally with the police involved.
Černý achieved international notoriety in 2009 with his massive installation Entropa, exhibited in Brussels as part of the Czech Republic’s holding of the EU’s rotating presidency. The installation, comprised of mini sculptures dedicated to each member of the EU, was meant to poke fun at national stereotypes. Bulgaria, for example, was depicted as a Turkish-style toilet. It's no longer hanging in Prague, but has found a permanent home at the Techmania Science Centre in Plzeň.
Černý is heavily involved in promoting cross-cultural links with artists abroad through his sprawling Meet Factory artist-in-residency project in southern Smíchov.