Art,  Travel

The Weird, the Wacky & the Wonderful – Sculpture Hunting in Prague

Just by walking around aimlessly or searching for groceries in the beautiful city of Prague, you are likely to come across several interesting pieces of art. This is not an exhaustive list, but I thought I’d share some of the sculptural gems I came across on my recent trip.

Idiom

Idiom, Matej Kren (1995)

Unlike the majority of sculpture you’ll find around Prague, this one can be found indoors in the Municipal Library. This long term exhibition by Slovakian artist Matej Kren is a towering, dream-like sculpture made up of hundreds of stacked books.

Have a peek through the teardrop shaped opening at the front of the sculpture and you’ll find that it opens up into what appears to be an endless tunnel of books. A mirror at the bottom of the piece creates the illusion of infinity, symbolising the infinite knowledge you can gain from reading.

The library is open all days except Sundays, and doesn’t open until 1pm on Mondays and Saturdays. If you visit at a busy time, expect a queue to take a picture in the opening!

Head of Franz Kafka

This rotating, metallic sculpture is very imposing and impressive. I stumbled across it by accident whilst looking for something else and being lead in circles by google maps. I don’t even remember what I was looking for, but I loved what I found! The kinetic, 42 panelled sculpture depicts the head of writer Franz Kafka. It continuously shifts in a circular motion, rearranging itself back into the image of his face.

Head of Franz Kafka, David Černy (2014)

Located right outside the Quadrio shopping centre and only a 5 minute walk from my hostel (Downtown), it’s very central and easy to visit. This piece is by David Černy, a Czech artist known for producing some controversial pieces of art. You’ll find a lot of his work around Prague.

Man Hanging Out

Another one by David Černy, Man Hanging Out (1996) depicts a man hanging on to pole with one arm from the roof of a building in one of the cobbled side streets of the Prague’s old town.

Man Hanging Out, David Černy (1996)

The man depicted here is Sigmund Freud, seemingly deciding whether or not to let go. Intentionally realistic looking to onlookers below, the sculpture fits in with Černy’s often provocative style. It is thought by some to symbolise Freud’s constant struggle with his own phobias, including a fear of dying.

Crawling Babies of Kampa Island

Babies, David Černy (1999)

Want a humorous holiday photo with the derrière of a giant baby? Look no further…


Part of a series of works by David Černy entitled “Babies”, these giant, bronze, crawling babies with barcode faces are quite a spectacle and a must see when in Prague. The three babies pictured above can be found in Kampa Park, a short walk across the Most Legii bridge from the direction of the National Theatre, right outside the Museum Kampa. There are more of these crazy babies that can be seen crawling up the Žižkov TV Tower if you fancy a Černy themed sculpture hunt.

Yellow Penguins of Kampa Island

Just steps away from the giant babies, by the edge of the Vltava river, with a nice city backdrop is this row of yellow penguins. Now, I’m truth I was so caught up in the view that I didn’t even see them there until looking through my pictures and videos after the trip, but you can see them in still from a video I took:

Yellow Penguins, Cracking Art Group

This installation, consisting of 34 bright yellow penguins in a row, illuminates at night. Created by Milanese collective, the Cracking Art Group, the penguins were sculpted from recycled plastic. They were intended to convey a powerful message about the environment and plastic pollution.

Reader in Armchair

I can’t find much in way of description or interpretation of this one, but it stood out to me. I walked past it whilst navigating through the old town back to my hostel. It is by Czech artist Jaroslav Róna.

Reader in Armchair, Jaroslav Róna (1957)

Museum Kampa Courtyard Sculptures

Again, I can’t find much information about the sculptors or individual works, but the various sculptures on the grounds of Museum Kampa are free to visit and worth seeing if you’re in the area.

Thank You for Reading!

Thank you for reading this post about the weird and wonderful sculptures in Prague! I hope it will inspire you to do some sculpture hunting of your own. It is by no means a definitive list, as there are plenty more works to spot on the streets of Prague, including a giant cake tower, David Černy’s babies climbing a TV tower and two men in a pissing battle! If you liked this article check out my posts on street art in Gdańsk and 3 days in Vienna.

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