Magyar

Walks around Hungarian guerrilla and official Street Art



Budapest

Some spectacular public works and giant murals await you on city walks in Hungary. The domestic Street Art line-up is, of course, much broader, so much so that alongside tours of our architectural heritage and historic districts, there are special sightseeing tours organised around this particular theme.

Graffiti

Downtown Budapest has almost no firewall that has not been used for such a purpose. Nearly half of these creations commemorate some historical event or draw attention to an item of national pride. The theme of the paintings ranges from Empress Sissi through the memorable 6:3 Hungarian football victory over England, all the way to various popular fairy-tale heroes and even the Rubik’s cube. Our personal favourite is one where a lead glass window by Miksa Róth comes to life. The remaining works depict scenes from the life of the district, or the importance of social responsibility or of the local community. The pedestals of bridges and the stairs of water towers and public buildings in many countryside towns also seem to be good spots for street art.

Street sticker and collage

Many sites in Budapest bear the signature of the Hungarian street artist who uses Hungary’s international country code as their calling card. Yet the identity of the artist remains a secret, just like that of the internationally renowned Banksy. A hallmark of their work is to mix popular Hungarian fairy-tale heroes with current pop culture with great effectiveness. AntallTales is a common memento of the political experience of the generations growing up around the change of regime. It commemorates the moment when Duck Tales broadcast on TV were interrupted so as to announce the death of Prime Minister József Antall. But stickers depicting the Hungarian cartoon figures of Dr Bubó, the Mézga family, or the wanderer figure of Hungarian folktales are similarly ingenious.

Our other extremely popular and quite characteristic wall sticker artist is Miss KK. Her typical collage dolls can be seen in several locations across the city and her fashion-inspired models always convey some current pop culture message. You are sure to find the latest ones under the #budapeststreetart and #streetartbudapest tags.

 

Miniatures

Budapest is beginning to slowly fill up with the mini-statues of sculptor Mihály Kolodko. The charm of these lies precisely in the fact that they’re not pushy and they don’t attract attention, so only passers-by who are open to subtleties and sensitive to detail will spot them. Each piece has some relationship with the location where it is placed. Finding them can be especially fun, and even an all-day activity. Watch out: they’re not easy to find!

Funny and fake plaques

Memorial plaques commemorating the tiny joys of life can be found as part of art projects in most of our cities. In addition to amusing public installations, there are memorial plaques commemorating false or insignificant things, such as Allen Ginsberg’s memorial plaque on Liszt Ferenc tér, stating that the poet had his clothes laundered at the cleaners there in 1993 (which happens to be true).

Stumbling stones

Since you’re already heading in the direction of memorial sculptures, don’t miss the stumbling stones, even though they are not really part of underground street art, but are just as organically and functionally linked to the streets. Stumbling stones commemorate Holocaust victims by evoking the spirit of the place to fully personalise the stories of those deported from the building where they are placed.

MOVE AROUND LIKE A HUNGARIAN