Some of Kolodko's creations: Left: Diver with key; Chief Worm; Rubik's Cube. Right: Seress Rezső sitting in a pipe, a reference to the "Kispipa" where he played the piano
Mini Sculptures of Kolodko Mihály
Kolodko is well known for his so-called guerrilla art – a street art movement, for which the environment where the piece is placed is essential to the piece’s significance. He started shaping his works in 2010, and got the idea of originating mini sculptures because “artists always make a small one before sculpting the large final version of it.“
“I look for places which are a little hidden but still easy to find if you know where to look”, Kolodko told in an interview in his workshop north of Budapest, when asked how he chooses the spot for his art. He does not announce when he places a new one (usually at night), waiting for people to discover it.
When he moved to Budapest in 2016, his first work was a 15 cm (about six inches) statuette of Fökukac (Chief Worm), the character from the Hungarian cartoon called “A nagy ho-ho-ho Horgász" (The great Angler) that is displayed across from the Parliament at Halász Street, on the bank of the Danube in Buda. Fökukac was the artist’s favorite children’s story character when he was a kid.
The little statues are shown on the streets in Budapest. There is one representing the legend about the New York Café, where the fable is that Molnár Ferenc, a very prominent Hungarian playwright, threw the key of the restaurant into the river so that the place would always stay open. The little statue is of a diver on the top of a hydrant, with a key in his hand. The hydrant represents the Danube’s water.
Another well-known miniature work represents Seress Rezső, composer of Szomorú vasárnap (Gloomy Sunday), the famous song that has been sung by singers all over the world, including Billy Holiday. The statue is in the Jewish quarter in Akácfa Street, near the Kispipa restaurant, where Rezsö used to be a musician.
Furthermore, there is a significant little tank near the riverbank, representing Hungary’s 1956 revolution, with the words “Ruszkik Haza” (Russians go home) written on the side of the sculpture. (We used it on our header in October 2018).
The Hungarian poet Hanna Szenes also has her little bronze statue erected on Széna Square. The sculpture was made to commemorate International Women’s Day in 2020. Szenes was a Jewish war hero, who was parachuted into Yugoslavia by the British during the Second World War to help anti-Nazi forces, and eventually rescuing Hungarian Jews. When she got to the Hungarian border, she was arrested, imprisoned, tortured and executed, without exposing details of her assignment.
There are so many of Kolodko’s little sculptures all over the city, including Lisa Simpson, a character from “The Simpsons” that is displayed near Jászai Mari tér; and of course, it is likewise necessary to mention the famous and most well-known Hungarian toy, Rubik’s Cube, that is located on Bem Quay. Liszt Ferenc also has his mini bronze statue at the Budapest airport.
The little statues are so enjoyable that some of them have been taken by the public. Nowadays Kolodko takes measures to avert the possibility for them to be stolen.
Recently, Alfred Nobel became the artist’s first sculpture in Stockholm, where Nobel was born. Kolodko also has some other works displayed in other countries.
As Kolodko Mihály says, “A sculpture - is the loudest art of silent expression for me.”
István Arato, son of Hungarian immigrant parents, was born in São Paolo, Brazil where he was a journalist. He came to the US in 1996 and attends the Hungarian School sponsored by Magyar Studies of America in Fairfield, CT. He is a member of the Magyar News Editorial Board.