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December 16, 2017
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Best Kept Secrets

The Printa's Pest is an illustrated guide to 50 of Budapest's urban hot spots: a map with 4 postcards. Source: aestheticoflostness.org.

Inside Printa.

Photograph by Emily Maree.

Within the labyrinth of winding streets in the back alleys of Budapest, the glow from a treasure chest of design radiates from derelict buildings and abandoned car parks. Home to the most unusual and design-forward pieces of art in the country, it's not surprising that multi-concept space, Printa, is always buzzing with customers and interested tourists.

Combining minimalism and cluttered chaos, Printa's space functions as so much more than just a shop. Founded in 2009 by Brazilian graphic artist Zita Majoros and Serbian photographer Claudia Martins, Printa is a hive of activity. The space boasts a design shop that sells pieces made in-house, an art gallery, a cafe and a silkscreening studio. Printa's two main concepts are to showcase Hungarian designers and to use eco-friendly products whilst doing so. It's the first venture of its kind in Hungary.

The design shop sells dozens of organic and recyclable collections, anything from totes made of old seatbelts to rings made of computer keys. Majoros explains to me that, "Everything in the shop is one of a kind and it is all made from recycled material. All of the leather bags are made from recycled leather jackets...some of the other bags are made from old seatbelts and...bicycle inner tubes. She explains that the t-shirts are all made from bio cotton and the Pants to Poverty underwear collection imported by the shop is fairtrade and organic. 

Printa is the only silkscreen studio in Hungary that opens its doors to the public for art exhibitions, offers courses in silkscreening and is a small, intimate place for artists to do limited collections of printing...

The adjoining art gallery is where established and up-and-coming designers and artists can showcase their work, either through a solo exhibition or a collaborative one. Majoros says that each exhibition is kept in the gallery for two or three months, allowing the artists to receive plenty of recognition and publicity. "At the moment there is a group exhibition. For the first time we are representing students [of] a course done by a really good artist, Dóra Balla, who we already had an exhibition for. She gave them very nice tasks and they made great work, so we gave them an exhibition."

All of the work hung in the shop and gallery is created in the silkscreen studio attached to the shop and artists are encouraged to rent out the studio for a few hours to create their own graphics or prints. Printa is the only silkscreen studio in Hungary that opens its doors to the public for art exhibitions, offers courses in silkscreening and is a small, intimate place for artists to do limited collections of printing and one-off pieces (rather than large orders of silkscreen work for t-shirts, baseball caps and the like). The studio only allows artists to use water-based colours, to avoid any toxic chemicals.

Printa doesn't just cater to passing tourists, but to Hungarians living abroad and those who are looking for the ideal gift. The cafe was integrated into the design of the studio from the very beginning as a way of not only bringing in tourists, but also to pull in the local trade, for people who want a comfortable, quiet place to have a coffee or do their work.

Silkscreens hangs from the walls in Printa.

Photograph by Emily Maree.

Martins and Majoros have also just launched their Printa web shop to sell the graphics and silkscreen serigraph pieces from the studio and the shop's clothing and accessories. 

Printa is a huge step forward in terms of promoting untapped local artists and eco-friendly design in Hungary. The company is dedicated to helping both current and up-and-coming designers showcase their talents in the best way possible and showing the rest of the world the talent that the Hungarian art industry has to offer.


The next exhibition opens on April 26. For more details or to check out the online shop, go to www.printa.hu.

Visit the studio on Rumbach Sebestyén útca, 1075 Budapest for a coffee and a look around the art gallery.

 

 

 

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