In the heart of Prague, the giant mirrored face of Franz Kafka looks out at passersby. The 42 stainless steel layers of sculptor David Černý’s kinetic art piece, simply titled “K.”, twist independently to scatter and then reform the head. The movements are choreographed by a central computer.

kafka Photography by David Černý

Photography by David Černý

At times, Kafka’s 45-ton face stands stationary, only to split apart a moment later as alternating layers rotate in different directions. Sometimes they slide slowly to one side, a single layer at a time, making a long curving smear of the author’s nose.

It’s a fitting depiction for an author best known for genre-bending fiction and characters that undergo fantastic transformations.


“It’s my destiny to create” says Černý, who has created many other iconic and thought-provoking sculptures located across his native Czech Republic and throughout the world.