Béla Magyar is a Hungarian architect and graphic artist. His true love belongs to the metropolis, Budapest. He has been living there since his early childhood, and his personal development as an artist and designer is completely intertwined with the city´s metamorphosis. This makes his understanding and his knowledge of the details and hidden corners of the city a part of himself and his work.
Starting with Budapest, bird’s eye view cityscapes of real cities were born - looking like illustrations of children’s stories. Budapest, Hungary the whole country, Szentendre – these large the original of Budapest is more than 2 meters in length illustrations are map-like cityscapes, but not true maps. They represent the essence, the summary of the city, bird’s eye view through the eyes of the artist. Being an architect, Béla constructed and built the houses, bridges rather than simply sketched them. The buildings stand as firmly as the real buildings because he knows what happens behind the walls and under the roof of the houses.
Béla tells stories about the city with his ink lines, stories about houses, buildings, buses, an underground railway that cannot be seen anymore – they were buried, demolished, rebuilt long ago. In contrast to the simplified, faceless, stereotype visual experience of computer effects, his birds eye view maps have many things for you to discover and to marvel about for hours, weeks, or even months. They allow questions to arise in the viewer, they raise interest and arouse the desire to discover all the life depicted in the pictures.
The bird’s eye view maps were made with a technical pen on tracing paper.
Pen and ink illustrations. Surrealistic fantasy cityscapes with rampant pipelines, chimneys growing like trees, dangerous bridges, crumbling, decaying industrial buildings, people made from brick and construction steel – eating digital letter-pasta… Mostly black and white pen and ink illustrations are drawn with rapidograph, some of them inspired by the imagery of the movies of Andrei Tarkovsky e.g. Stalker and from the absurd thoughts of Luis Bunuel....