From time to time, Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman, Madonna and other stars appear on the streets of Budapest. Characteristically, they carry strange expressions and some kind of cheeky or provocative message. The street art of Miss KK uses celebrity figures seemingly torn from the pages of fashion magazines, bringing a little pizzazz to everyday life in the capital.
Miss KK has been involved in
street art for more than a decade. Her attachment to fashion is no coincidence,
as she studied to be a textile designer and has been working as a graphic
designer for Sugarbird since 2014.
She produced her first work at the stop for trams 19 and 41 on Clark Ádám tér, but her creations have now gained greater fame: celebrities are now taking photos and sharing them on their social platforms.
We Love Budapest: The main characters in your creations are various celebrities dressed like mannequins. Where did this idea come from? Do you remember how your first creation was born?
Miss KK: At secondary school, I had to make a dress I had designed and sewn myself based on my chosen theme, to which I had to attach a fashion drawing, an illustration. Due to lack of time, I cut out a montage from different pieces of material and magazines.
Since I was interested in graffiti and street art before, I knew I’d be involved in it one day and wanted to create something of my own, individual character, but I didn’t quite yet have the direction. Once this particular fashion drawing was done, I immediately put together what I was going to glue together on the street.
WLB: Who do the dolls represent? Where do you draw your inspiration?
Miss KK: First, I always get the quotes, I read or hear something that reflects my own life right now, and I immediately grab it. After that, I build up the clothes, the face and the mood of the figure.
WLB: Did you have any memorable stories about your work?
Miss KK: I’m very careful, so I haven’t yet had any serious problems. It was funny let’s say, when Josh Brolin (Thanos from the film Avengers: Endgame) was in Budapest with his family, he photographed one of my figures upon which someone had scrawled an obscenity.
Dua Lipa’s sister has also photographed one of my characters in London, and it’s cool that more and more designers and models featured in the work are sharing them on their own pages.
WLB: You work as a graphic designer for Sugarbird. How much time do you have for street art?
Miss KK: I’ve been designing graphics at Sugarbird for seven years. There
are products that started as a one-off, but have since evolved into a recurring
collection, such as the Queen and Sugar Bird themes.
I also design the graphic direction for the Disney, Zsolnay and Frida Kahlo collections. Sugarbird is based on 80% graphic products, so this job requires a whole person. However, I can always go out putting stuff together at least once a month.
WLB: You are considered the first female street artist in Hungary. Your works often contain ironic and sometimes thought-provoking sentences referring to Girl Power. How do you stand on this question?
Miss KK: It’s easy to be number one in a field where I’m the only one. I can’t tell now if all of a sudden there are other female street artists here. I feel completely outside any other competitors, although I also always compare myself to others in the professional field. Crazy, really.
WLB: Why do you do paste-up work? What are the peculiarities of this genre?
Miss KK: It’s ideal for me because I can make and design the figure on the computer for as long as I want. It is not created on the spur of the moment like posting up graffiti. Of course, the location also adds to it, but I can work on the main element until I’m completely satisfied with it.
WLB: How do you decide where your work will go? Do you plan ahead or place them randomly?
Miss KK: It’s important for a lot of people to see it, so a busy place, with a timeless feel. Bustling spots downtown, ideally. I walk a lot and I usually look out for the location in advance, but I always carry more figures with me, and if I see a promising spot on the hoof, I stick it there too.
WLB: Can you tell me a few places where you can see your latest work?
Miss KK: My latest job is not under the radar, but an exciting
collaboration with Jägermeister. Seven Hungarian artists designed their own
labels, and we could decorate a bar window.
My installation can be seen on Király utca, the Csipesz Bar. Other ones can be found around Madách tér right in the city centre, around places such as Központ, Telep and Konyha.
WLB: How is your relationship with Budapest? What is your favourite place in the capital?
Miss KK: I have an open relationship with Budapest, but from time to
time I also fall in love with Barcelona. On the other hand, I find it silly
when people say “everything is always better abroad”.
I think we shape our environment and everything else around us. My favourite place is always my home, but if I have to say something else, it’ll probably be Füvészkert.