Czech Republic

Quirky Prague: art by David Cerny

(Last Updated On: 25/10/2019)
One of the reasons why Czech Republic is one of my favourite countries is the overwhelming number of quirkiness. The best example of it is David Cerny’s artwork that can be found in many locations in Prague. He is one of the best contemporary Czech artists, constantly pushing boundaries and creating pieces that in many countries (including Poland) would be just too provocative and sometimes even offending. Cerny is a national master of scandal and controversy yet the local authorities rewarded him with a studio in the center of Prague so he could create even more.


Would you like to visit Central Europe? Let me help you with planning your trip! Click here for more details!

David Cerny Prague

David Cerny in Prague

Discovering David Cerny’s work in Prague is a great alternative to the picturesque Old Town. Especially that often his quirky pieces are located only few steps away from the main tourist sites! Here’s a little overview of the best sculptures and where to find them:

Horse

Every visitor to Prague knows the statue of St. Wenceslas on the horse, guarding the huge square named after the Saint. In the middle of that very square, inside of the Lucerna passage, is another sculpture of St. Wenceslas on the horse but this time the animal is dead. Originally this piece was supposed to be located inside of the main post office building but eventually the chief of the post office said it was too much (without specifying what exactly “too much” is) and a new location had to be found. Cerny hardly ever comments on the meaning of his work but it is believed that the dead horse is an allusion to a former Czech president Vaclav Klaus (speaking of him, have you seen the video when he steals a pen? Priceless!)

David Cerny Prague

Babies

Zizkov TV tower, the highest one in Czech Republic, doesn’t have a very good reputation among locals who often call it a driller. In year 2000, when Prague was among cities of culture, Cerny was asked to do an art installation on the tower and that’s how the devilish babies were born. There’re nine of them crawling up the TV tower and three more guarding the entrance to Museum Kampa close to the Charles Bridge. They look like regular babies, only with slot machines as their faces…

David Cerny Prague

Hanging Out

When walking Husova street in the Old Town it’s worth to look up as a over there a small figure of Sigmund Freud is casually hanging from the red rooftop. He looks like he’s about to commit a suicide, holding a beam only with one hand. The sculpture is Cerny’s answer to the question of the role of the intellectuals in the new millennium (this piece was made in 1997)

David Cerny Prague

Embryo

Not far from hanging Sigmund Freud another piece by David Cerny in Prague – Embyo – can be found. Glued to the side of the local theatre – Divadlo na Zabradli – shows a fetus trying to squeeze through a drain pipe. Apparently it shows the difficult way the art is made and how it is difficult for artist to create in the narrow-minded world, how random people don’t always understand the meaning of art.

David Cerny Prague

Pissing man

My favourite piece by David Cerny in Prague! At the courtyard of Kafka Museum two guys are pissing into the tank that has a shape of Czech Republic. They are not standing still but moving their hips so they write with their pee quotes by famous residents of Prague. If you want your sentence being written on Czech Republic just text it to the number written next to the statue and the mannequins will piss it too! The story behind the sculpture is simple – it shows what Cerny thought of Czech Republic joining European Union!

David Cerny Prague

“Quo vadis?”

This short sentence literally means “where are you going?” and is a perfect name to the car on legs sculpture than can be found in the garden of the German Embassy in Mala Strana. In summer 1989 thousands of East Germany citizens came to this place asking for asylum in the neighbour West. Of course they got it hence they had to leave all their Trabant cars behind. Some people say the Trabant in the sculpture means the communism system and the question is where the new reality would lead.

David Cerny Prague

Brown-nosers

It’s quite a journey to get to Galeria Futura in Smichov but it’s well worth the time and effort as probably the most spectacular of Cerny’s sculpture is located there! Two big figures are leaning towards the wall, with ladders leading to their asses. Once you climb there you can watch a movie of former Czech president Vaclav Klaus and the head of National Gallery feeding each other with a spoon. It is said the sculpture is a metaphor of Czech politics but I think it refers to just about every country.

David Cerny Prague

Bus stop in Liberec

A little bonus away from Prague. Liberec is one of the biggest and coolest Czech cities located in north-west part of the country. Before the Second World War the city was mostly German who in 1938 expelled all the Czechs, 7 years later the roles turned around. Not long ago the city ordered a bus stop from David Cerny but instead he created a table with all dark aspects of Liberec’s history on it: an overthrown menorah, Czech and German beer mugs or the head of Konrad Henlein (an infamous local Nazi politician) with a fork stick into it. The bus stop is located just behind the town hall in Liberec.

David Cerny Liberec


Sorry to interupt but would you like to be the first one to read my posts (mostly) from off the path places in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Middle East? Then sign up to my newsletter! I promise no spam, just new posts landing directly in your mailbox. Simply click on the picture below! Thanks!

newsletter


Where to find works by David Cerny in Prague

And here’s a map with all the locations where David Cerny’s work in Prague can be found:


Are you planning a trip to Czech Republic? Do you like Central Europe as much as I do? I’ve created a Facebook group where you can look for advise or inspiration and share your travel stories and pictures from Central Europe Europe and beyond. Join now!

travel-to-eastern-europe


Are you looking for a place to stay in Prague? Look no further! Book your accommodation in Prague here!


If you think of visiting Czech Republic or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:

If you’re looking for articles about any place in particular this map with posts might be useful for you. Or just take a look at the “destinations” page.


LIKED IT? PIN THIS POST!

cerny pin (1)       cerny pin (2)


love, kami 2

If you enjoyed that post why don't you share it with your friends? That would mean so much to me! Also be sure to join 27.000+ fellow travelers and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or Instagram for travel updates and even more pictures! If you don't want to miss new posts sign up to my newsletter or follow on Bloglovin!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  •  
    103
    Shares
  • 23
  •  
  • 80
  •  

11 Comments

  • Reply
    łukasz kędzierski - podróże i fotografia
    17/08/2015 at 19:58

    Brown-noses rules!!! Amazing sculpture that I haven’t seen. Nice one.

    • Reply
      kami
      03/09/2015 at 22:07

      Thanks! I love the meaning of every sculpture, so crazy! something like this would never take place in Poland ;)

  • Reply
    Dziwny spacer po czeskiej Pradze śladami Davida Černego | Amused Observer
    01/11/2015 at 18:20

    […] PS. Pomysł na wycieczkę śladami Davida Černego wpadł mi do głowy  dzięki Kamili z bloga Kami and the Rest of the World, która o swojej wycieczce napisała TUTAJ. […]

  • Reply
    David Cerny and his art in Prague | Amused Observer
    01/11/2015 at 19:52

    […] I came with the idea of walk that follows David Cerny in Prague after reading Kamila’s post in Kami and the Rest of the World. na wycieczkę śladami Davida Černego wpadł mi do głowy […]

  • Reply
    Prague Day 1: Touristy Things | Texans on the go
    21/02/2016 at 21:44

    […] David Cerny.  Finding his art throughout the city was like a treasure hunt.  I’d like to walk from one sculpture to the next in Prague as an off-the-beaten-path tour of […]

  • Reply
    99 Things to Do in Prague: Our Tips for the Best Things to Do in Prague
    28/08/2016 at 15:39

    […] checked out some other Černý while in Prague, and Polish blogger Kami also has a great post on Černý in Prague, complete with a helpful Google Map with the sculptures plotted […]

  • Reply
    Praga na weekend: nieoczywiste atrakcje czeskiej stolicy - Kto podróżuje ten żyje dwa razy
    28/12/2016 at 10:15

    […] To tylko trzy z prac Černego, jakie spotkać możecie w Pradze, jednak dla mnie są najbardziej wyjątkowe. Pozostałe dzieła rzeźbiarza możecie obejrzeć u Kami and the rest of the world (klikamy). […]

  • Reply
    Slavoj
    21/07/2017 at 11:03

    Actually Cerny felt pretty positive about Czechs joining the EU. He explained himself that pissing is a pleasant thing to do, as is Czech Republic joining the Union. It’s just his unique way to express it.

    • Reply
      kami
      21/08/2017 at 20:37

      Thank you for telling about that! I read the other explanation but knowing Cerny I think your is more accurate! Thanks!

  • Reply
    ROC
    29/01/2018 at 17:16

    Well, thats soo hanging out ! literally…loved it

    • Reply
      kami
      29/03/2018 at 20:17

      haha, literally ;)

Leave a Reply

Let’s become friends!

Join me on Facebook for even more travel updates!