The Hungarian Art World presents itself as Unknown, Dysfunctional, Global, Enigma

This article in the New York Times attempts to explain what everyone in the Hungarian Art World already knows- that it is a fucked up Utopia where petty clan jealousies and squabbles prevent any projection of power in the Global Arena.

“Why are our young artists not well known on the international scene? Why are we not there?” said Mr. Pocze, the founder and director of Vintage Galeria in Budapest.

Why contemporary art in Hungary does not have as strong an international reputation as neighbors like Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia is something of a mystery — even to the Budapest artists, curators, art historians and gallery owners who are involved in the scene.

The Hungarian Contemporary Art Puzzle –

While I have shared many of the above frustrations over the years, I have come top accept that while Budapest has never really emerged as the “next hot scene”, I have come to accept and appreciate the active and vibrant scene which is teeming beneath the surface.  One cannot walk the streets of central Pest without tripping over an artist and most cafes and many restaurants actively curate shows of contemporary artists; large numbers of foreign artists come and go often without making a sound.

While an enigma, the art scene in Budapest exists very much as “art for art’s sake” in its purest form.  A young film maker friend recently visiting from New York commented based on the artists that he met in Budapest that the scene here was quite refreshing.  In stark contrast to New York where every artist seemed to have an angle or an agenda as relentless self promoters, the artists in Budapest seemed to be content just doing art.  While this may be an overly rosy interpretation of the Budapest art scene and many of my fellow artists would strongly disagree, I do believe that on a base level this is true.  The Budapest art scene may have missed its opportunity to achieve zeitgeist status, however it is slowly evolving and the broad base of talented artists and abundance of space for studios and galleries have laid the foundation for a bright future.

No money for art

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