There are many ways to make a city more livable: in addition to an advanced infrastructure, citizens’ days can also be brightened by seeing lively and colorful walls instead of the grey and boring firewalls in certain points of the metropolis.
In addition to their positive impact on our well-being, the exciting murals also secure a spot for the given place or building on the mental map of citizens, and thus become a reference point for locals. Owing to creative artists, the gigantic illustrations painted on the walls of buildings can often deceive passersby – a good example of this is the residential building in Moscow featured in our current selection, putting the phenomenon of camouflage to use. The giant canvases made of brick or concrete are not simply aesthetic, but many times they also convey an important message.
Viki Hitka‘s mural on Károly körút stole the hearts of the citizens of Budapest with its loveable figures: seeing the family baking a bread and the neighbor lady getting a present gets every one of us in a better mood, while the motto „A városnak te vagy a kovásza” (You are the sourdough of the city) reminds us that we are not only passive observers, but active participants of metropolitan life, and that we play an important role not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others, as well.
The wall paintings are the objects of the permanent exhibition of the given city, and we ourselves are its viewers and critical observers. We, the people running after the metro replacement bus or waiting at the end of the long line of cars for the lights to turn green. Now that the city’s buzz has changed a lot due to the restrictions posed as a result of the coronavirus, perhaps we should remind ourselves to “Stop!”, “Take a look around!” and “Admire it!”. We do the same and take a quick trip from Vancouver to Rotterdam in our imagination – in the only way we can still do it.