Jiří Surůvka is one of the most famous contemporary artists from the North-Bohemian Ostrava. Although he is well-known abroad and has been invited to numerous international exhibitions, let alone his presence at the Venice Biennale as the representative of the Czech Republic, he remains faithful to his region where he has initiated and took part in many activities of the local artistic traffic, and where he moreover lectures at the Ostrava University. The work of Jiří Surůvka as well as his actions and performances can be straightforwardly labeled “brutal”. They deal with controversial social, political and cultural subjects and aim, so to speak, directly at the viewers’ forehead. Surůvka’s dashing irony does not avoid the subjects of Nazism or his own self-reflection in actions during which he, with his rather subtle figure, “stars” as Batman. He also exhibits and performs with the art group František Lozinski o. p. s. During the 1990s, he and his colleagues ran a theater cabaret “Return of the Entertainment Masters” and he also initiated the Ostrava performance festival “Malamut”. Today, Surůvka’s main field of interest is printed canvases featuring computer-generated images based on photographs, whose subjects are various cultural and social stereotypes. He is probably the most well-known to the public via his double portrait of Hitler as an innocent child wearing a moustache.
* 1961, Ostrava, Czech Republic