An Alternative Guide to Free Art in Budapest

From lively murals to mosaics made of colourful LEGO bricks, here’s five free-to-attend art displays and installations in Budapest you should check out.

Cracking Art

The newest community space in Budapest, the riverside Millennium Park hosts the internationally known Cracking Art outdoor exhibition that boasts giant installations imitating the animals surrounding us. Invading public places in New York, Milano, and now Budapest, the colourful pieces of art aim to start a discussion about the impact humanity has on nature. Illuminated at night, the colossal statues are made of reusable plastic, so they can be re-shaped without using more of the material.

Until 24 August 2022 | Millennium Park

Patterns – Embroidery in Contemporary Art

The latest contemporary fine arts exhibition of Deák17 Children and Youth Art Gallery opened in late June with the embroidered (or embroidery resembling) art works of 14 Hungarian artists in focus. Open on weekdays until 3 September, this free-to-attend display shows us how applied folk art can easily meet pop culture. Visitors may have a look at the silhouette of Freddie Mercury embroidered on a traditional table cloth, as well as the convergence of a QR code with embroidery.

Until 3 September 2022 | Deák17 Children and Youth Art Gallery

The Mosaics of Our Lives

Boasting mostly Roma people from diverse backgrounds, the Nyíregyháza-based tekerd! (Twist It!) group has been creating art pieces made of LEGO parts since 2014. This time the creative group members tell the story of their lives with the help of mosaics created from colourful bricks, touching on important social issues like the question of equal opportunity, environment protection, and human rights. The intimate art works have made up The Mosaics of Our Lives exhibition in Képező that gives home to relating workshops and lectures until September.

Until 15 September 2022 | Képező

Captured – City, War, Love

1 August 2022 marks the 78th anniversary of the outburst of the Warsaw Uprising, which is why the Polish Institute of Budapest’s new exhibition opens this very day in Platan Gallery. The free-to-attend display focuses on the photographs captured by Polish photojournalist Tadeusz Bukowski between 1935 and 1955, evoking important historic events, including the Second Republic of Poland, the German invasion, and the Polish capital during post-war times. Documenting mostly the residents of Warsaw, Bukowski’s photos capture the changes Warsaw endured during these two decades.

Until 3 October 2022 | Platan Gallery

Mural of the Sparrow and the Great Tit

More and more abandoned firewalls in downtown Pest are decorated with vivid public murals that bring new life to sometimes unpopular areas. The latest mural in District VIII is no exception: the giant painting was designed by Hungarian street artist and illustrator Nikon One, and painted by the team of Neopaint Works. Bringing a touch of nature into the concrete jungle of the neighbourhood, Illés Street’s new artwork boasts two bird species with “the sparrow conducting us through the night, and the great tit through the day,” as the artist commented.

Illés Street, District VIII