Kotva’s giant gingerbread men part of a larger show

The facade of the shopping mall has 11 large cookies, looking as if they just jumped

You may have noticed some atypical decorations on the Kotva shopping mall. On the facade, there are 11 gingerbread figures each measuring over three meters and weighing 100 kilograms.

They are the work of international artist Marek Schovánek. The gingerbread figures invite people to an exhibition inside called Anarchist Cookie Shop, which has turned part of the third floor of Kotva into an anarchist cafe.

Decorated cookies are not new, but Schovánek uses the medium of cookies to display symbols of violence, indifference, suffering, ideology, and art, which puts the cookies and the concepts into new contexts to point out the dysfunctional areas in the structure of society. He also explores the contrast between consumerism and poverty.

The concept of The Anarchist Cookie Shop also tries to make statements about the world of art and the art market itself.

The exhibition runs until Jan. 6, 2018, and entry is free of charge. Artist Marek Schovánek will be at the cafe Dec. 10 and 17 to bake and serve fresh artistic cookies. At other times, the artwork made of gingerbread is on display but not meant to be eaten.

Schovánek wrote The Anarchist Cookiebook, a parody of the Anarchist Cookbook, which was popular in counterculture movement of the 1970s in the US.

Schovánek first used the cookie concept in 2012 at the international art festival Art Stays, held in Slovenia. It attracted more than 4,000 visitors. The exhibition was then held in 2015 at the Dancing House Gallery in Prague.

He was described as “the best unknown artist in the world” by Prague’s DOX Gallery when it held a retrospective of his work. Aside from cookies, the works in a variety of artistic disciplines including oil painting, mixed media, text, and installations to explore similar themes as he does with cookies, and usually with a sense of humor.

His parents emigrated to Canada when he was very young. He studied art in Edmonton, Canada.

He returned to Europe in the early 1990s and has stayed mainly in the Czech Republic and Germany. In Berlin, he worked as a member of the world-famous art squad and Kunsthaus Tacheles. In Prague, he became a member of the New Artists Association of Prague (Nové sdružení pražských malířů).

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