Rudolf Dzurko was an artist of Roma origin who lived a substantial part of his life in the former Czechoslovakia. During that time, he was a relatively unknown artist until 1996 when the Revolver Revue awarded him its Prize and presented copies of his work to the general public. The originals could be seen by the public in 2002, when Dzurka made a great retrospective of the centre of Egon Schiele in Český Krumlov. In the catalogue of this exhibition, he wrote: "I have never wanted to do art and do not want to do it now. I do not consider myself an artist. Michelangelo, Leonardo, Gogh, these were my true artists. It seems to me, when I'm angry I will make a picture of how angry I am when I'm happy I will make the image sparkling, joyful and when I feel sadness, fear, anxiety, when the whole of Prague falls upon me and the city suffocates me, then I make pictures such as Violent Civilization."
Dzurko was born in 1941 to the "Gypsy" community in eastern Pavlovice. After the war, he and his parents moved to northern Bohemia to replace the expelled and murdered Germans. There, in the vicinity of Nový Bor, he also first became acquainted with the glass shards there, which laid there as a waste after the glass production. He then began his first job, working as a bricklayer and as a metal turner. He began to exhibits his work in the 1970s, when he was invited to exhibitions such as The Art of Czechoslovak Gypsies or Our Fellow Gypsies. He then moved to Prague where he continued his work. After 1989, the National Gallery bought several of his paintings and today the value of his work is counted in millions. The Museum of Romany Culture also owns a relatively large collection.
Dzurko devoted himself to the world of Roma, their poverty and fantasy, foolishness and humanity as well as the search for their place. The paintings are very fragile in nature and he patented his original technique. In his work, he also devoted himself to the subject of communist power, for example, when he created the picture "The Devil (Communists) took a violin from a Gypsy." The painting originated in 1983. In his work, Dzurko captured the publication of the Czech-Roma dictionary, the racist attack of the arsonists in Vítkov in 2009 and the period of communism. He was incredibly aware of what the Communist regime had committed to the Roma people, especially as part of assimilation programmes. Dzurko himself also signed several sentences in a document developed by Charter 77 in the spring of 1989 and published June 29.
Nový Bor, Czech Republic
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- Pavlovce, Slovakia
Date of death
Author(s) of this page
- Vrtálková, Anna
Jan H. Vitvar. "Za Rudolfem Dzurkem." Týdeník Respekt. Accessed August 17, 2018. https://www.respekt.cz/delnici-kultury/za-rudolfem-dzurkem.
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"Muzeum Romské Kultury: Unikátní Výstava Mapuje Dílo Romského Umělce Rudolfa Dzurka - Romea.cz." Romea.cz. Last modified 20, 1551. http://www.romea.cz/cz/kultura/muzeum-romske-kultury-unikatni-vystava-mapuje-dilo-romskeho-naivisty-rudolfa-dzurka.
"Rudolf Dzurko Zachytil Komunistickou Likvidaci "romské Duše" | Aktuálně.cz." Aktuálně.cz - Víte, Co Se Právě Děje. Last modified May 29, 2014. https://magazin.aktualne.cz/kultura/umeni/rudolf-dzurko-zachytil-komunistickou-likvidaci-romske-duse/r~8afe89d4e71911e3bc790025900fea04/.
Habrovcová, Jana, interview by Vrtálková, Anna , February 16, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection