Photo: Firewall mural © Neopaint Works
The evolving street art scene in Budapest has increased in popularity over the past few years, causing several artists to leave their ‘brush strokes’ on the city. Whereas illegal graffiti is generally frowned upon, local organisations such as Színes Város and Neopaint Works collaborate regularly with local artists to create impressive murals that add a splash of colour to local neighbourhoods in a legal manner. Additionally, legal areas such as the Filatorigát graffiti wall encourage young artists to express themselves out on the streets. Here’s what to look out for during your holiday in Budapest.
Neopaint Works: Seventh District
This former Jewish neighbourhood is definitely one of the best places to take a look at street art in Budapest. Tall, bland building façades have been given a completely different look with the inclusion of several large murals. Expect beautiful, political or inspirational art that delivers a strong message. Some of the more popular include a portrait of a refugee girl in Gozdu court, an abstract tree on Klauzál street, and a green field adjacent to a dull playground on Király street; or utca.
Filatorigát graffiti wall
The beauty of this creative space is that it is always in a state of flux. The Filatorigát graffiti wall is a commissioned space entirely dedicated to street and brings together a number of artists interested in decorating this 400m wall located alongside an abandoned factory building by the Filatorigát HÉV station. Today, the wall is covered with several etchings and designs, including several repeat artist appearances such as the local ‘Taker’ who is known for his photorealistic impressions of animals and people.
Ruin bars can be classified as hipster joints located within abandoned buildings or derelict spaces. Of course, plastered walls would never make the cut in these trendy spots; which is why they’ve resorted to street art instead. Szimpla Kert for instance, located within District 7 is considered one of the city’s foremost ruin bars and, apart from being literally covered in graffiti from ceiling to floor, hosts several exhibitions throughout the year. Puder, on the other hand, is located at Raday Street and enjoys regular exhibitions, as well as literary and musical events.
Translated as ‘Colourful City’, Színes Város is another local organisation interested in taking art out of the galleries and onto the streets for all to access and appreciate. Their efforts may be admired on the walls of previously grey buildings that have been transformed into proper works of art. Apart from brightening local neighbourhoods, Színes Város strive to highlight social issues by means of its art.
If you happen to be walking around the city, then keep an eye out for what appears to be the latest trend in Budapest – sticker art. From mailboxes, to traffic lights, and all the way to lampposts and park benches, the city has been transformed into a canvas for sticker art with infinite possibilities. If you look closely enough you might be able to spot a number of Space Invader themed stickers, famously left by Invader, a French street artist.