Dusan Straus

Curriculum Vitae

Dusan Straus was born in 1959 in Presov in eastern Slovakia. During his life, he established himself as an artist, teacher, businessman, writer, and photographer.

Family and origin

He comes from a teacher’s family. He graduated from the grammar school and the Faculty of Education at UPJŠ in Prešov, majoring in Slovak language and art education. At the end of 1988 he left his hometown to work in the capital city, Bratislava.

Father, PhDr. Frantisek Straus, Csc. was a university teacher, professor, literary scholar. During early adulthood he was an active and convinced communist. He was expelled from the Communist Party for his political views in 1968 after Russia invaded Czechoslovakia. In the next two decades of the normalization regime, he had to leave the position of a university teacher, he was persecuted and was banned from working in education and publishing. This had a big impact on the whole family. As a result, Dušan had a limited access to education and subsequently also had difficulty finding employment after leaving school (he was forbidden to teach in the district of residence).


In 1990, his father was habilitated as an associate professor and later appointed a professor. He could start lecturing and publishing again. Mother Irena Strausova was a primary school teacher. Dusan has two younger brothers.

Art creation and artistic search

After a period of art studies and research in the years 1974-1984, in 1987, due to postmodern painting, his artistic expression stabilized on monumental, simplified, symbolic work. In 1988 he was one of the main organizers of the famous Czechoslovak exhibition Prešparty’88. In 1990 he moved with his wife and son to Bratislava.

1992 was his turning point. He experimented with various performances. Among other things, he organized a solo exhibition “Purification”, in Bratislava in 1992, he organized the Czechoslovak exhibition Prešparty 1992, where he exhibited the installation “Crucifixion”. He has participated in more than 40 group exhibitions in galleries and exhibition halls in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany. He was a member of several art associations. In the years 1989–2015 he was a member of the Slovak Art Union.

Life in the cult

At the end of October 1992, he became an active member of the Sri Chinmoy Center. He devoted himself to sacred music, film, theater and art of his guru. His own painting activity subsided.

In 1994, he founded Asteja (hardware import and sale company), where only students of Sri Chinmoy Center were allowed to work. At the end of the year, he transferred the business to Madal Bal, which is owned by the cult company in Austria. Dusan became and remained as the managing director of the company in Slovakia until his departure from the Sri Chinmoy Center in June 2015.

Although he stopped devoting himself almost entirely to art, he used his membership in the Slovak Art Union to promote the art produced by his guru. In 1995 he organized an exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s paintings in the prestigious Umělecká beseda (now Umelka) gallery in Bratislava. At the turn of 1999 and 2000, he founded his own Sri Chinmoy students’ music group called the Japaka Orchestra, with which he recorded 4 CDs and recorded several music videos. During his time in the cult, he started running regularly, including about 40 marathons and several ultramarathons.


In 2009, he decided to return to his own fine arts, computer graphics and photography through abstract painting. In the years 2013-2014, he graduated from photography school and pursued a new career path which lasts until today. He also continued to write short stories. To completion of the novel With an Elephant on his Shoulders in 2018 took eight years and several creative writing courses.

Current life

Since 2015, he resides and works as a photographer in Prague since 2015 and is a business partner in a travel agency. He is happily married for the second time. The biographical novel “With an Elephant on His Shoulders” was published on April 19, 2022 in Slovakia by IKAR.