The hairy patriotic bosom is swelling inside the V-neck jumper. Optimism awakes under the beaked caps. Lajos Kossuth has sent a text on Viber, a… Read More
The hairy patriotic bosom is swelling inside the V-neck jumper. Optimism awakes under the beaked caps. Lajos Kossuth has sent a text on Viber, asking for a tenner till Thursday. You might say it’s so 17th-century. Or 18th, or 19th. But you should know the greats of this nation were far out, far cooler than textbooks would have you believe.
János Brückner turns to visual art to reveal in his portraits what is such a deeplyrooted element of the Hungarian national character, the hipster subculture. Hungarians, we learn, were in the vanguard of hipsterism. The faces that greet us from Brückner’s pictures are the same ones that we have known since early childhood and that form part of the common consciousness of this nation. Ferenc Rákóczi II, Lajos Kossuth, Széchenyi or Attila József: so many outstanding, institutionalised figures of Hungarian cultural history. But take a careful look, and you will realize they were all pukka proto-hipsters. Few have made this realization, although those rakish mustachios almost stab you in the eye, along with the wicked whiskers, the casually bored looks, the careless sex appeal. So many ladies’ hearts under the oversized T-shirts, beating loyally for this land. As you take in János Brückner’s iconography, you understand: they were oracles who saw the future not through a glass, darkly, but through Ray-Ban Wayfarers—so many prophets who between two twirls of the moustache raised the bar for the Hungarian hipsters of the coming centuries.
Before it was cool.
(text by Mátyás Falvai) Read Less