The artist Andrej Smolák was born in the Slovakian town Humenné in 1953. He lives in Slovakia. Using strong symbols such as a chain, a barred window, and a dove, his Wall painting “Amnesty International in der DDR” (“Amnesty International in the GDR”) pays tribute to the work of the eponymous human rights organisation to help political prisoners in East Germany.
Smolák‘s Wall painting “Amnesty International in der DDR” (“Amnesty International in the GDR”) contains many symbols. The ball at the end of the chain is turning into a rose. In combination with the dove, the sun and the prisoner’s hand gesture, it seems to stand for the blossoming of hope for peace and freedom. “Amnesty international” is written in small letters in the lower righthand corner in recognition of the human rights organisation of that name acting as an untiring and vocal critic of human rights violations in East Germany.
Having read art and Russian in Slovakia, Smolák continued his studies in various countries, including in East and West Germany, and studied art in Prague. In 1993 Smolák set up an arts centre in the Slovakian town Snina, where he continues to work as an artist and gallerist and organise cultural events. His award-winning portraits and watercolours have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in Slovakia and abroad.