What about a brief introduction to the street art typology? In the next few paragraphs you’ll get to know the main genres/topics of street art, of course presented with the amazing examples found in Budapest. We’ll be focused mainly on the topic, but it will be marked whether you see stencil, graffiti, tag, mural or – you’ll be surprised – sticker as a work of art.
The first kind of street art would be the
strongly political, like this stencil, probably criticising the cultural policy of the Hungarian government. Observing the walls and pavements and poles of a city is really a good way to get an insight of what’s going on in the country, what are the hottest issues in the public discourse or simply what makes the street artists or a social group they represent to open their mouth.
Political street art can also refer to
global issues, such as tolerance and gender equality – like this graffiti found at Filatorigát, the outskirts of Budapest. With the globalized mass media even those issues which are not specifically affecting the local society can appear among the topics of street art.
Besides these artworks with strong and clear social/political messages you can find ones reflecting everyday reality, or the caracteristics of postmodern urban culture – citylife.To illustrate what do we think of
see this ironical stencil showing CCTV in operation and making you stop to think for a moment that you are being observed practically every day in your citylife.
But who says street art cannot be “just” to make you feel better in your living environment? There are people who don’t just enjoy, but also act for a livable city. Colorful City, the first association in Hungary which colors public spaces made
this mural at the very heart of Budapest, on the walls of a former firefighter station. These big projects in most of the cases are being supported financially by the authorities of the given district of the city, who by now have realized that there are no negative aspects whatsoever of letting the artists create.
One doesn’t have to think of and to look up at huge things to get amused by the creativity. In fact, like the following examples show, it’s more than enough to focus on where you step or where you take a turn while reaching your destination.
We suppose not just coffee addicts smile when they notice this heading to school or work…
…and we hope at least some of you smiled when you noticed this after leaving the Quaestura office for student affairs at Gerlóczy street.:)
And finally let’s talk about the odd ones of the walls, poles, fences, and street furnitures. Would you consider this
tag on the wall of an old building saying “We want middle-sized Hungary!” as street art, or rather vandalism?
And what about the stickers which are made by mass production
and are put on different objects all around the city? Can they be considered a unique artwork, or they are just sometimes(!) clever and witty advertisements?
Well, this question is to be answered by you – if street art has been given the freedom to show itself for everybody, the observer has to be given the freedom to decide whether to consider it art or not. This little introduction – without keeping it secret – tries to prove you the first.
We’ll come again soon. Till then: don’t forget to look around!
Photos: Márton Fogl
Text: Eszter Neuberger