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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Neznayka in the City of Sun

Soviet writer Nikolay Nosov (1908 - 1976) frote several books of adventures of the little boy Neznayka (Neználek) and his friends. The second, Neznayka in the City of Sun (Neználek ve Slunečním městě, 1958 in Russian, Czech translation 1961) is set in the utopian City of Sun in many ways resembling the future communist society. For Czech children, ignorant about the political content, it had been one of the most popular books in the 1960´s and 1970´s. It had been illustrated by Jaromír Zápal (1923 - 1984) in a way that probably exceeds the original Soviet illustrations.

Zápal´s illustrations (above) had influenced the childhood of the future generation of Czech artists. No wonder some of them expressed the need for creative remix of the dominant artworks of their youth. The love/hate relationship to the Zápal´s pictures is evident in their ironical remakes by Pavel Karous (b. 1979) from 2002. See below.

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