Sculptor David Černy’s Pink Tank Turns Twenty Five

Nothing has really changed politically since, then laments the 48-year-old artist

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 29.04.2016 15:42:10 (updated on 29.04.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

Czech artist and provocateur David Černy has created dozens of controversial sculptures, but it was his inspired redecorating of a Soviet tank monument that earned the sculptor his early notoriety.

In Prague, on the early morning of April 28, 1991, Černy and a group of friends painted the tank, a so-called thank you to the Russians for their liberation of Czechoslovakia, bright pink.

The Meetfactory founder was briefly arrested for civil disobedience, his antics becoming a storied part of the country’s post-revolution lore.

Of the milestone Černy recently told the Czech publication Hospodářských noviny:

“The end of the Bolsheviks was alleged then…we really thought it was over, and as you can see, [it’s] not finished.”

He continued to sum up his disenchantment with the current state of Czech society:

“When I look at it through the prism of current events, I would have probably ended up today just like I did in 1988. I [would have] ended up in jail, got five years in prison and the whole nation would have applauded it all.”

Černy, now 48, is currently working on a piece for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and a new sculpture which will be unveiled in Prague in Butovice this summer.

The famous Pink Tank 91 is now housed in the Military Museum Lešany, about 20 km outside of Prague.

See here for more photos of the artist and his tank. 

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