Mini Statues in Budapest
If you love art, you are going to love these guerrilla mini-sculptures. They are the hidden pearls of Budapest. They are not only fun to look for, but you can also discover Budapest as you go. You can’t go home without having taken a photo of one of them. But which one? They are all so exciting and meaningful!
WHO IS THE ARTIST?
Mihajlo Kolodko or how we Hungarians call him Kolodko Mihály, was born in Ukraine, in 1978. He now lives in Vác (in Hungary) with his family.
He is a sculptor and his specialities are the popular and very much-liked mini guerrilla sculptures that are scattered all around Budapest. Some of them are really tiny, so you might need a magnifying glass if you don’t want to miss them. Ok, maybe not that tiny, but still, you need to watch out if you wish to take a look at them.
WHAT ARE THESE MINI-STATUES AND WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THEM?
Mihály wanted to commemorate well-known cartoon characters, famous people and artists in a funny and playful way always adding a touch of twist to them. When we look at them, it is usually obvious what we see, but most mini-sculptures have their own story and we need to know a little about politics, history or old times in Hungary if we wish to reveal the real meaning of these mini-compositions, what they actually symbolize.
HOW ARE THEY MADE?
They are bronze statues. By the time the artist comes up with the idea about the subject of his next mini-sculpture, he also has the place of the statute on his mind. He cannot handle these two separately; he needs to be able to see the mini-statue in its surrounding. Statue and location; they belong together.
Making a mini-statue could take a couple of months or even years, the artist doesn’t like to be hurried, he creates according to his own rhythm.
WHERE ARE THEY?
There are 16 mini-sculptures in Budapest at the moment and they are seriously worth a visit if you have the slightest interest in modern art.
The full list of mini-statues with some instructions about their whereabouts:
- Dead squirrel: it is down the tree-lined Falk Miksa Street, it is outlined by chalk.
- Kermit the Frog: it is near the Parliament at Liberty Square.
- Főkukac (the happy little worm): it is on the banks of the Danube at Bem Quay 15.
- Tiny tank: can be found near the riverbank on Bem Quay.
- Ferenc Liszt (composer): it is at the Terminal 2A bus stop outside the
- Mekk Elek (cartoon character): can be found at the foot of the stairs of Széll Kalman Square near the Castle.
- Libido (the balloon dog): he is placed between the iron fence posts near the Corso Restaurant.
- Tivadar Herzl (journalist, writer and political activist): he is placed near Dohány Street Synagogue in the 7th district.
- Rubik’s Cube (Hungarian invention): it is near Batthyány Square where you’ll find it opposite the Parliament.
- Diver: it lies at the intersection of Dohány Street and Osvát Street.
- Kockás fülű nyúl (cartoon character, a rabbit with long, checked ears): it lies near Sándor Palace, at the final stop of the Buda Castle funicular.
- Lisa Simpson (cartoon character): it is at Jászai Mari square, near the tram stop of tram-2
- The 14-carat car: it is at Hevesi Sándor Square, at the beginning of Rejtő Jenő street, in front of the Pesti Magyar Theatre.
- Noe’s Ark: can be found at Bethlen Gábor Square.
- Urinal: it is at the lake of Városliget.
- Süsü, the dragon (a puppet show character): it is located at Szabadság square, at the side of the old building of the Hungarian Television.
Kermit the frog
Kermit the Frog in real size:
The sculptor particularly enjoyed watching traditional Hungarian cartoons when he moved to Hungary with his family, because this was his main source of learning Hungarian language. One of his favourite cartoons was the „A nagy ho-ho-ho horgász” which translates as the „The Big Ho-Ho Angler” and the main character of the cartoon series is a happy worm, who is the bait of the Angler. This worm inspired his very first mini-statute here in Budapest, which has got its brother and exact copy in Uzhgorod (Ukraine) as well. It can be found near the Parliament.
DID YOU KNOW?
Every monumental statue has got its small version before they are actually made. This gave the original idea to Mihály.
TIPS & TRICKS
If you want to be the first one, who discovers a new mini-statue in Budapest, you need to be on the watch out, because they can appear anywhere, anytime. Pictures of the latest mini statue or statues are usually shared on Instagram and Facebook, and Hungarians actually compete who finds them first.
Take a piece of Hungarian culture with you when you go home. Make it a detective game and try to find all of them. Don’t forget to google on them to learn more about their meaning and what they symbolize.