Here’s just a limited selection of some of the many bizarre though quite fascinating statues that I came across on my trip to Prague in the Czech Republic a while back.
I don’t know whether the surreal nature of Prague’s public art is due to the influence of Czech surrealists such as Jan Svankmajer, or Franz Kafka. Or, perhaps it’s the result of the destruction wrought upon Czech art and architecture by the second world war that required such artistic reinvention. Maybe the Czechs choose not to celebrate historical figures through public effigies because of their country’s troubled period of communist rule that may have left them weary of hero worship after suffering the destructive state sponsored propaganda of fallen idols such as Stalin for so many years. Perhaps it’s simply the prevalence of mind altering drugs on the streets of Bohemia since the decrimalisation of drugs for personal use that has unleashed such a creative approach to enriching public spaces with artistic ingenuity.
Whatever the reason may be for Prague’s bevy of idiosyncratic street sculptures, I for one am all for it. Through a haze of cannabis smoke I trawled throughout the city of Prague constantly surprised and enthralled by the many surreal incursions into my day that these works of art provided me with.
Upon my return to Ireland, whilst trudging through the streets of Dublin I couldn’t help but feel short changed by the lack of invention of our own Irish artisits in their creation of public pieces of art. There are only so many grey statues of long dead war mongerers, or bronze casts of expatriate Irish writers that can be stomached before you start to question what the Irish are lacking in so sorely when it comes enriching public spaces.
I remember once reading the Czech writer Milan Kundera describing his Czech countrymen as “heretics” as a result of their lack of enthusiasm for religous or political doctrines and the simple pleasure that they take in living life to its fullest. As I stood in O’Connell Street in Dublin after my trip to Prague, I looked towards the GPO, the scene of Ireland’s greatest act of rebellion in 1916 which eventually led to our country’s independence. However, my view across the road to this historic building was partially obscured by the great phallic monstrosity that is the Millenium Spire quietly spunking its celtic tiger euro millions into the air. And I thought to myself, that perhaps there’s something that us conformist Irish could do with learning from these Czech herectics.
You may have noticed that my daily posting has slackened off considerably of late, but this has not been the result of laziness on my part (well not completely), but rather because I’ve been off enjoying celebrating my 28th birthday in the lovely city of Rome.
Rome is a beautiful city with so much to see and do that even with a whole week to explore its environs, there’s still a hell of a lot that I missed out on. Whatever I did have the opportunity to visit though, I’ve dutifully tried to photograph, and I hope that you’ll enjoy this little taste of my photographic record of my voyage to Rome.
The juxtaposition of ancient Roman ruins alongside the elaborate architecture and artworks of the Renaissance is a continuous feast for the eyes, whilst the opportunity to indulge myself in my first experiences of authentic Italian food was a delight for my belly (as was evident by its increased rotundity upon my return).
All the photographs that you see are available to buy in my store, which can be visited by clicking here, or on any of the photos.
Thanks for stopping by,