From his pickled Saddam Hussein to a London bus doing press-ups, Czech artist David Cerny has established a reputation for surreal and shocking pieces.
He surpassed himself with a 10-meter middle finger aimed at Prague Castle, the seat of President Milos Zeman, and tells us he is still feeling the consequences.
Metro: Are you in a lot of trouble?
Cerny: Not yet. Well, a lot of hate mail but I expect they will try to do something more to me. But I’m a little fish so probably not much will happen.
So are you happy with the impact?
I wanted to wake people up, and it was a message to the President and those post-communist assholes trying to take the country back to Moscow. It’s hard to say about the impact, the election already happened so I don’t know if anyone changed their mind, but I’m happy the politics council seemed to care so much.
Was the finger part of a wider art-meets-politics movement?
I have had requests to display the finger in Budapest, Sofia, Bosnia and even Washington. But since it was a private gesture I would say, ‘Do it yourself’.
Was it difficult to install the piece without too much attention?
We did it pretty fast and it is only 10 meters so my team is capable of that. We made it in private and then transported it from studio to river.
What will you do with it now? Is there some use for it?
We need another election. I'm not planning any use for it, people can buy it if they want but I don’t think they should.