David Cerny – Satirical Sculptor
A Look at The Czech Artist
Sculpture has long been recognised as an exceptional artistic endeavour. From the gigantic heads of Easter Island to the sphinx, its clear that replicating life in a more permanent material is something we have aspired to for many generations. Unlike the two-dimensional images brought to us on a canvas, sculpture creeps into our world further with its tactile, touchable surfaces and its existence in the natural lighting of our world. Unlike many other forms of art, sculpture really brings subjects into real life and allows us to interact with them in ways we just can’t on paper. With all this said and done, some sculptures like to turn this ‘divine talent’ on its head and deliver projects closer in tone to rude cartoons than Michelangelo’s David.
This David is David Cerny, born in Czechoslovakia in 1967, this contemporary sculptor has a sense of humour that many people grab a hold of immediately. Using his skills to create an impressive set of works that can be seen all over Europe, this award-winning artist pokes fun at almost everything. With the taboos of the body quickly put on show for all to see, he makes us laugh at things that other people in the trade would consider highly inappropriate, but this hasn’t stopped him. From all out toilet humour to bizarre human forms in odd places, Cerny is clearly a master of sculpture, and here are some of his most remarkable works.
As a reaction to his distaste of the elections in his home country Cerny decided to make a statement, and it wasn’t a subtle one. Creating an oversized fist with a raised middle finger, Cerny left this instantly recognisable insult floating in front of the castle itself. The hand is easy to spot as it is created in a vivid purple and the middle finger extends to comical proportions.
This is a surprisingly intricate piece. Not only are the life size men here sculpted from horizontally stacked copper, but it is also interactive. Here two men stand facing one another, urinating into the pool they stand in, clearly a modern version of the old water fountains. What makes this piece so engaging is that you can text a number to get these men with infinitely full bladders to write your message in their pee. Isn’t that what you’ve always wanted?
Never before have you wanted to interact with a sculpture less than this one. In this hilarious play on engaging art, Cerny has created two giant naked men bent over. At their rear is a ladder, which oddly invites viewers to climb it and peer inside what would be the sculptures anus. Take a peek inside here to see a video of two politicians spoon-feeding each other while Queen’s ‘We are the champions’ plays in the back. This political satire and laughable, almost childish humour has caused Cerny to become one of the most controversial artists around, but one that refuses to relent.