Every year since 2014, there was a festival called the Colorful City (Szines Város), an event that lasted one month, during which Hungarian and international artists could paint on the walls. There was a different theme every year. In 2017, it was Wine and Gastronomy. (The festival is not being held this year.)
The Colorful City group is an association of artists who started painting in public spaces in a legal way in 2009 with the basic concept of taking art into the streets. Since then, they covered over 40,000 sq. m. of wall space. Currently they are working in London.
These firewall paintings are so beautiful that sometimes we cannot even associate the work with a firewall. They are so colorful, changing the landscape. And of course they give the city a much more attractive look, making people feel better when looking at the paintings.
The paintings give the formerly deteriorating inner VII. and VIII. Districts a much better appearance. Neopaint was definitely able to brighten up the place. Vattamány Zsolt, Mayor of the VII. District, said that since 2013, 21 firewall paintings were created under the program in Erzsébetváros.
In front of the 250-year old European Circus, 600 square meters of a wall was painted in Almássy square in Budapest, using 420 liters of paint in little less than 2 weeks, commemorating its anniversary (source: Magyar Idők)
But it’s not only the big paint companies that produce murals. These legal paintings in public and on famous ruins give the opportunity for young artists to show their mettle. Some of these works of art are also political, for example that of a refugee girl, which has the inscription ”1 family torn apart by war is too many” on Gozsdu udvar (Court).
A giant one, the biggest in Hungary at this point, was completed a couple of years ago by Neopaint, a company that since 2011 created more than 30 pieces of firewall paintings in Budapest, as they claim in their website. Much of their work had been done under the “Firewall Rehab in Erzsébetváros 2013” program. This big mural is called “Budapest” and was created by graphic artist Vidák Zsolt...
István Arato, son of Hungarian immigrant parents, was born in São Paolo, Brazil where he was a journalist. He came to the US in 1996 and now works in the hospitality/restaurant business. He attends the Hungarian School sponsored by Magyar Studies of America in Fairfield, CT.