Dali | Saudek | Saudek | Warhol

Masturdating Going out alone. I.e. seeing a movie by yourself, going to a restaurant alone. - urbandictionary.com

Jan Saudek

Jan Saudek

In Prague I went to an exhibition with Salvador Dalì, Jan & Kája Saudek and Andy Warhol. Prior to this exhibition I wasn’t familiar with the Saudek brothers and I’ve always thought Warhol to be overrated (soup cans and Madonna, is that all he’s got?), but I’ve always liked Dalí’s work and that’s why it was Dalí that caught my attention and made me go masturdating. Being slightly hung-over, masturdating seemed like a good way to spend a few hours.

If you, like me, have no knowledge about Saudek, let me give you a small introduction with info I found on Wikipedia when I wrote this article (about nine months after seeing the exhibition):

Jan Saudek (born 13 May 1935 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech art photographer and painter. Saudek’s father was a Jew and this, coupled with his Slavic (Czech) heritage, caused his family to become a target of the Nazis.

Kája Saudek (born Karel Saudek, 13 May 1935 – 26 June 2015) was a Czech comics illustrator. He was one of the most important exponents of the Czech comics since the late 1960s. Kája’s father was also a Jew (perhaps not a big surprise there since Kája and Jan were twin brothers).

Many of their family members died in Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II. Jan and his brother Karel, or Kája, were held in a children’s concentration camp for Mischlinge, located near the present Polish-Czech border (Luža in Poland). Their father, Gustav, was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in February 1945. Both brothers and their father survived the imprisonment and came back to Prague.

So, short summary of the highlights: Jan is the photographer, Kája the illustrator.

Kája died in 2015 at the age of 80. He had been in a coma for nine years following an accident in 2006 (so the way I see it, he died at an age of 71)

If you want to know more about the Saudek brothers, there’s plenty of material to read about them on Wikipedia. Jan Saudek’s work is not only artistic, staged nudes in black and white, he also used a hand-tint technique. Unfortunately I have no photos of the latter, but you’ll find some excellent examples in the link section.

Kája Saudek’s work is surrealistic, bizarre and erotic. Really brilliant.

Kája and Jan Saudek gallery: 

Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol gallery:

When I exited the exhibition I was positively surprised that I’d discovered a couple of new artists. My favorites were the two Saudek brothers, (Kája, then Jan), followed by Warhol’s album covers and the works of Dalí were my least favorites. Dalí has a lot of cool paintings, but I didn’t fancy his works at this exhibition since it had this mass-produced feeling to it.

Trivia: I had that black Dalí perfume bottle once, but it disappeared somehow…
Trivia 2: I also vaguely remember now that I’ve seen some of Kája’s work as a teenager – probably in some obscure porn publications.

Some links to Saudek (check out Jan’s photos in the first link):

16 thoughts on “Dali | Saudek | Saudek | Warhol

  1. This would have been an amazing art exhibit to attend. I’ve always liked comic art so I would have been drawn to the work of Kaja Saudek. Great stuff of his- though his women are a bit disturbing. And That image of Jan’s- the woman sitting with the gun at her mouth- is equaling disturbing. But considering their backgrounds it is understandable. Great post!

  2. Have you ever read (or practiced) Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way? Part of her prescription to overcoming creative blocks is to go on weekly “artist dates”. They are solo excursions meant to inspire. I will never again be able to go on an artist’s date without thinking of it as “masturdating”. (Autocorrect better leave that one alone if it know’s what’s good for it.) That was one hell of a masturdating session you had there. So much to take in, even just in this post. 🙂

    • I’ve never read Julia Cameron, but the correct term for an artist’s date like that is masturdating. (I notice now that the dictionary wants me to correct that word into something I usually don’t do in public places like art exhibitions…)

      • Did you know that there actually IS a lot of what autocorrect wants to suggest going on at art exhibitions? I listened to a podcast a while back (long enough ago not to remember the specifics). The guy being interviewed had done research on the subject. He said that art is very arousing and there is A LOT of sex (and self pleasuring) happening within the walls of art galleries all over the world.

    • Thanks Michelle. Most blogs are usually quiet and on a break when it’s summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, so I figured that I should post something substantial to weigh up for it.

      • I completely get that. I have not posted as much lately myself. But, we have to get out and live to find photos don’t we?

        And your post was so interesting. Amazing what someone can come up with!

  3. I not only learned a new word – I’m now going to use masturdating in everyday conversation – but I also learned more about Czech artists, which is embarrassing, considering I’m Czech myself. I’ve so far known Saudek the photographer only as the author of weird photos of obese naked women. And for his, um, irregular personal life.

    • As a person that has lead a highly irregular personal life myself, I would love to hear more about that. Do you have any links or juicy stories to share?
      (I should probably add that I’m not lazy, it’s just that I’m new to this internet-thingy and don’t know how to use search engines).

      It’s a shame that masturdate can’t be translated into Norwegian. I’ll have to use the English word for it when the opportunity is there.

      • Where to start – he has a bunch of children with different women, he probably doesn’t even know how many kids he has himself; he admitted to an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters; he lived with one woman for ten years, she changed her last name to match his but then she went on to marry his son; he then sued her for stealing his art and won. Now, trump that.

        • Haha, legendary stuff! I’ve been writing on story lately. I’m pretty sure that my story can’t trump these, but I think it’s a fairly close call. Basically the story is finished, only some proof-reading and additional editing remains, but I’m struggling with figuring out what to keep and what to leave out in the story. 😀

          • I do proofreading. Just saying. Certainly no attempt on my part to get to see the original story before you edit the most interesting bits out of it 😉

  4. Thanks for the new word. Now I’ve got a handy, conversation-stopping term for my solo culture consumption. The exhibition looks amazing; especially the Saudek brothers. I feel a bit the way about Dali you did about Warhol! My first thought when I say the two images at the top was that the reminded me of Otto Dix’s work — and others during the Weimar period in Germany. Reading about the Saudeks, that’s probably not a surprising influence. Thanks for sharing these. I’m off to find out more about these guys’ work. 🙂

  5. The real standout images for me in this post were those by the Saudek brothers. I had never heard of them and so perhaps I was drawn to the works because they were new to me and super cool! Thank you for the backstory on them and thank you for taking us along virtually on your masturdate.

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