Berlin’s Optimistic Re-branding Through Graffitti-Inspired Mural Drawings

Born in Budapest and based in Berlin: the alliterative biography of artist Vidam shares some of the child-like, punchy spirit of his collection of drawings, works striking a golden ratio of technical complexity, urban raunch, and a pick’n’mix colour palette. And they are drawings, he corrects us, not illustrations; it is this candid cool, perhaps, that has attracted an international network of clients to occupy his time alongside work as one half of the collaborative duo Peach Beach and member of graffiti collective The Weird.

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Taking specific city buildings and dislodging them from urban environments – any environment at all – is a recurring feature of his output. This, combined with the word ‘Vidam’ translating directly from Hungarian into English as ‘happy’, re-brands urban sites as each having an uplifting, optimistic presence in their own right. We spoke to Vidam to find out the inspiration behind his work.

The Plus: You describe yourself as ‘happy’ – is it important to you to make your work happy too?
Vidam:
Most of the time yes. I like to make people smile with my work.

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TP: What is making you happiest at the moment?
V:
Good music, all the time! I love House and Techno and I listen to it all the time, this keeps me alive. This is my heartbeat.

TP: You say you have a closer connection to some of these houses – would you mind sharing with us what that is?
V:
That house in Fanningerstr, for example, is the building where our old studio was. We worked there for round about 5 years. Now we have moved into a bigger place. And the house in Petersburger is the place where my good friend Mike lives.

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TP: Does this connection affect the mural you put on it?
V:
Sometimes, for example the place where Mike lives: The Skullguy is a symbol for him, because he’s a tattoo artist who loves to draw skulls. In this mural he is cuddling his cat Möschi. Unfortunately Möschi passed away in the meantime. RIP!

TP: What designs of yours are most people are attracted to? Would you want to guess why?
V:
I don’t know. If I knew this, I could draw this stuff all the time and become famous and rich haha!

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TP: What is it like being an artist in Berlin?
V:
It’s a comfortable place because there’s everything a decent artists needs here: Party, cheap beer/alcohol, a ton of arty events and relatively affordable living- and working spaces.

TP: These murals on your houses: what would you say to someone who called them ‘graffiti’?
V:
”Hello! How are you?“

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