Meeting of Styles is the biggest graffiti event worldwide, held annually in more than 20 countries. In August 2019 I had the honour of being one of the many participants in the event which took place in Budapest, Hungary.
I spent nearly the whole August at Budapest in an artist residency with my family. So we had few weeks prior to Meeting of Styles to get used to the warm Hungarian summer. And by warm I mean infernal hot for my taste: the temperature for most days was between plus 28 to 32 degrees celsius, for the worst few days it rose as high as 36 degrees in the sun. But just sitting in a park doing nothing, which is what we did for the hottest days, was totally different compared to painting 10 hours straight in the scorching heat. Having the sun behind our back all day long and the wall we were painting reflecting both the light and the heat back was rather challenging.
I think the official temperature for this weekend was about 32 degrees and that is by far the hottest temperature in which I’ve ever painted. Since I am from Finland where such temperatures are only heard of and not experienced, it wasn’t easy to cope with the weather. I almost passed out the first day and very soon realised that my main goal at the event wasn’t creating a burner representing the best of my skills but instead of getting the piece done in the given time of two days. What first felt pretty easy task soon became a fight against time, sun and dehydration. The second day was a bit more easier, since I learned from the previous day to drink constantly water and have regular breaks in the shadows of nearby trees.
But all in all I had fun and I think my piece turned out pretty good. What I especially loved about the event that it consisted mostly of letter based graffiti. As in “styles“! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against characters and landscapes and such, but for a graffiti event I think it’s more than natural that letters are in the main role. And I just have to repeat myself from the previous posts about Meeting of Styles events: The quality of the pieces and talent of all the artists at the event is way beyond amazing! I am very, very honoured that I’ve had the opportunity to participate in an event like this for four years in a row!
Let me conclude this post with more than familiar yet mandatory shout outs: Huge thanks for the MOS Crew Hungary & All Caps Collective, Upik One as well as all the artists painting at the spot, both the ones I got to meet and the ones I didn’t. And naturally everyone who visited the event! I had a blast and am eagerly looking forward to participate in the future Meeting of Styles events as well.
Arts Promotion Centre Finland provided a grant to cover my travel and accommodation costs for my residency stay and this event related to it.