We’ve already written about downtown Budapest’s newfound vibrance, as crumbling and worn firewalls are revitalized with huge murals appearing on busy squares, thereby providing a much-needed dash of color to the otherwise dirty brick walls that fill central Budapest (which some tourists actually like due to the post-apocalyptic ambiance they create).
Murals have been cropping up across the city, which is excellent news since we Hungarians have a predilection for pessimism, and a large painting can go a long way to improve our moods. The story began nearly ten years ago, but it only became popular much more recently in 2008, when the Színes Város Projekt (“Colorful City Project”) was launched, complimented in 2010 when the Neopaint Works launched its TűzfalRehab (“Firewall Rehab”) initiative, through which the firewalls in downtown Budapest were decorated. Ever since, there are more and more of these fantastic works of art to be found throughout Budapest.
The artists do their work legally, in cooperation with local governments and residents alike. This allows us Hungarians to learn the meaning of street art, and what it’s like when art goes out onto the streets, where it belongs.
The Színes Város Csoport (“Colorful City Group”) intends to follow in Victor Vasarely’s footsteps and take art to the streets, so that it becomes available to everyone. They not only create art themselves, but also launch competitions for young groups who are just starting out, allowing for more and more surfaces to be beautified via this transformation, as well as making sure that the genre will continue in the future. Színes Város decorates not only firewalls, but also erects public statues from recycled materials to make the city more livable. They installed a living wall next to their painting in Újlipótváros last fall, so that before long wild grapevines will cover the work, allowing nature to fuse with it. Színes Város enjoy making interactive works that invite passers-by to add their ideas and further develop the work, such as their interactive panel at Erzsébet Square.
You can find a collection of Színes Varos’s works here:
The name Neopaint Works has also become associated with firewalls. Their firewall rehab project, which they have undertaken in tandem with Trilak since 2010, was awarded a Summa Artium prize this year. Their main base of operations is District VII, where you’ll find most of their work, but the suburban train painting at Szentlélek Square is also theirs. The members of Neopaint prefer simple images for decorating deteriorated walls, presenting Budapest’s former face, or perhaps painting a landscape to provide a backdrop for a playground. It’s no wonder that most people adore their murals. So much so, in fact, that they’re received international orders as well, working in Germany most recently, and collaborating with the American photographer Terry Richardson at his Paris exhibition.
A gallery of Neopaint’s works can be seen here:
In other words, it’s totally worth walking around the city with open eyes to enjoy the fact that dilapidated firewalls have now been transformed into massive works of art.
And let me close with a little tip on where to find them: we’ve collected the more noteworthy works from both groups on one map to give you a hand in finding them when you go out in search of art.
(Rebeka Tamási wrote this guest article)
Translation provided by Helpers Business and Immigration Services. Find us at www.helpers.hu
You may find the original article here.