It’s safe to say that Prague has a unique history and culture, but the uniqueness of its art may be somewhat lesser known. At least it was lesser known to me; and, needless to say, I was in no way prepared for all the babies…
To start, on our first day in Prague, we made our way across the strikingly beautiful Charles Bridge and had wandered into a nearby park just off the river. This happened to be Kampa Park. And, as a huge surprise to us, it also happened to be the site of three giant bronze babies. Crawling on a patch of grassy dirt outside the Kampa Museum, they proved to be just as creepy as they were bizarre. Their faces were sort of scrunched inward, and their baby bodies oddly muscular.
These babies were a creation of the famous Prague artist, David Cerny. He was originally commissioned in 2000, to create a temporary piece to make the Zizkov TV Tower eyesore a bit more appealing. His solution was making a bunch of these babies look like they were crawling up the tower. It worked! People loved them so much that they actually pushed for the babies to stay after the project was completed.
The inspiration behind Cerny’s babies is said to be communism. Stunted by totalitarian rule, these babies are said to symbolize the communist era. As for their faces, they are supposedly oddly scrunched in the form of slot machines. Weird.
The next day, we took an afternoon stroll down a delightfully cobbled side street on our way to Old Town Square when, also as a huge surprise, we came across a 20-foot tall silver pregnant lady. She was naked, made of bars of stainless steel, and kneeling with her hands clasped behind her head. I had no words. I still have no words. Further research showed she was also a creation of Cerny’s, his In Utero, and apparently you can get inside this lovely lady for a womb-tastic experience.
David Cerny is a Czech sculptor from Prague who has gained international fame for his controversially provocative works; mostly famously, his tower babies. He first gained notoriety back in 1991, after being arrested for painting a Soviet tank, (at the time a national monument), pink in opposition. His later works have gone on to carry a similar feel of anarchy, radicalness, humor, and a profound, somewhat disturbing awesomeness.
There was not enough time for us to find all the other Cerny pieces scattered around the city, but I would definitely recommend Czeching them out. Here are some more of Cerny’s other works in and around Prague. Go nuts.