Uneducated Masses: Diploma Nélkül at Bakelit Multi Art Center

I really had no idea what to expect when I saw the invitation for Without a Diploma (Diploma Nélkül) at the Bakelit Art Center.  I imagined that it would be an exhibition of self taught artists, however I had no idea whether it would be street artists, highly technical artists with a chip on their shoulder, or an array of kitschy Sunday paintings.  Given that the location was deep in the southwest corner of the IX District across from Csepel, I assumed the former.

The Bakelit Multi Art Center is an extremely cool industrial space located in an old factory complex.  On a dark crisp autumn evening, the winding entrance through the decaying empty space to the event looked somewhat surreal, just like a set of a Batman movie.  Climbing the steps to the show I was bowled over by what emerged.  Rather than the expected lolling crowd of hipsters, there was a throng of very average looking people similar to what one would expect to see at the Multiplex for a weekend blockbuster film.  There were literally hundreds if not a thousand visitors cramming their way into an enormous exhibition hall.

After waiting over half an hour to get into the promised land, I was confronted with an exhibition which makes the annual show at the Royal Academy in London look somewhat minimalist.  Unfortunately, the works were of an uneven quality, however that seemed almost moot in the face of a rabid horde of art admirers.  When most artists in Budapest complain of indifference on the part of the public and even many museum show openings only attract a smattering of viewers, the enthusiasm I witnessed was indeed a breath of fresh air.  As an artist, I would say that a vast majority of my sales have been to collectors who have some actual art experience thereby appreciating many of the intangible factors that go into every work of art.  I do believe that there is a disconnect between much of the art that is being presented in official venues and the vast potential pool of collectors and admirers here in Budapest.  Many artists , curators, and gallerists are currently making great stride to narrow this rift, however much work still needs to be done.


We define the concept of “artist” as broadly as we do “work of art”.  The term “artist” covers not only the creator but also the spectator who is able to feel with the work of art and value it.  In our view the ideal relationship is one between creator and beholder. 

-Gustav Klimt


One Comment

  1. Lynda Stevens October 24, 2011 Reply

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