If you were in Budapest earlier this month, you might have found an enormous stone giant heaving himself up from the very Earth in Széchenyi Square. But he was actually an invited guest, and a very popular one.
The giant, with an expressively heaving face suggesting the force with which he crawls out from underground, is an installation piece by Hungarian artist Ervin Loránth Hervé. He was installed at Széchenyi Square for the Art Market Budapest, which took place earlier this month. After that, the piece was installed in Ulm.
While it looks like it’s made of stone, the statue, called Feltépve (literally, “popped up”), is actually made of polystyrene and can be moved fairly easily. Artificial grass adds to the effect that it’s emerging from the ground.
“My goal was to show people that pieces of contemporary art can be integral parts of a city, that they can become one of its building blocks,” Hervé says. He explains in an interview that currently, he’s not satisfied with what he calls the “statue culture” of Budapest, and hopes that he can help usher in a new era of sculpture in the city.
So far, his work has been well-received. Despite the less-than-friendly face, the locals have taken a liking to the statue. Hervé encourages interactions between viewers and the sculpture, calling it “selfie compatible.”
While this piece is rendered in earthy, naturalistic tones, Hervé says that his next pieces will be in brighter colors that will contrast with the city’s historical buildings. While he appreciates the city’s history, he’s an advocate of modernizing the arts culture here, as well as making it public. “”I say that many more contemporary sculptures should be displayed on the streets of Budapest. I’m positively sure that not only tourists would love them, people living in the city would too. Let’s dare to create!”
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