Milan Kunc, born 1944 in Prague, is a painter of postmoderne, ironic-defiant socialist realism. His style was also called “Embarrassing Realism”, “Punkpop”, “East Pop” and has elements of advertising, photography, street art and comic art. Kunc’s ‘Artificial Paradise’, coarse and perfect like Disney or a luna parc, penetrating as the simple slogans of the socialist camp, testify less of the artist’s sense of kitsch than of his keen powers of observation.Kunc makes the fetishes of consumption or the shrill fanfares of ideology the content of his works.
Reflections on East and West
Kunc studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague from 1964 to 1967. In 1969, he immigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany, and from 1970 to 1975 he studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Manfred Sieler, Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter. In 1979 he foundend the group Normal (together with Peter Angermann, Jan Knap). In addition to his paintings, Kunc created also sculptures, photographic works, and performances. In 1981 he participated in the legendary Times Square Show in New York. During Kunc’s stay in New York, Pop-Surrealism had a profound impact on him. In 1982 he moved from Düsseldorf to Cologne. He worked throughout 1986 and 1987 in New York and moved to Rome, Italy in 1988. He stayed in Rome and Tuscany until 1991. During his stay in Rome he was inspired by Neoclassicism. In his new, refined paintings he transformed classical Mediterranean metaphysics and lucidity. In 1994 and 1995, he moved to New York and East Hampton in the United States again where he had studios. In 1996 and 1997, he worked on a body of ceramic sculptures in The Hague, Netherlands before moving to Schlosstal, Eifel, Germany. In 2000 he moved again back to Cologne, but in 2004 he returned to Prague.