Tuesday, September 8, 2009

David Černý - Arsole Fantüme Fan?

On Saturday, the New York Times ran a profile on the Czech artist David Černý, the "bad boy of the eastern European art world... a wiry, floppy-haired 41-year-old who resembles Mick Jagger... who once considered getting silicon breast implants and walking around Prague naked “to see how people would react.”

The entire profile is interesting and well worth reading in full, but this paragraph in particular caught my eye:

He has painted a Soviet tank pink, depicted Prague’s heroic 10th-century King Wenceslas riding a dead, upside down horse and lampooned the incendiary, right-wing Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, by displaying a caricature of him inside a giant fiberglass anus.

Being from Eastern Europe, and a bit of a prankster, it hardly seems impossible that Mr. Černý would not have been aware of Arsole Fantüme, Gentleman Immoralist. Perhaps he was even inspired by Arsole's literary antics. Look at this photo of the "giant fiberglass anus" sculpture, and you be the judge:

Who can forget the classic scene in the novel (Chapter 23, "The Unfortunate Orifice"), in which an Arsole victim is made to be a gruesome part of a water-spraying art installation?

Apparently, the body had been suspended within the installation for some time, and most everyone had thought it was part of the artwork. It was the small that had finally caused complaints. When an observer was heard to comment, "This stinks," a near scandal erupted until it was clarified that he meant it literally stunk- it smelled of human waste and decay.

David Černý- Arsole Fantüme fan? I think it's safe to say, "Yes!"

Order Arsole Fantüme, Gentleman Immoralist here.

Fiberglass anus sculpture pic source.

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