I found this place just accidentally and thanks to the situation I have been in the circle of creative artists, in the broad sense of the term.
The moment I got to know about Brody Studios, I knew that I won’t calm down until I go there. Though my heart was beating faster than normal, some weeks ago I simply took a metro and got off at Vörösmarty utca, where I was searching the building nr 38.
“That’s the one!” I screamed to my poor friend, who was forced to go there with me. The building itself looked a bit exhausted from outside but there was something magical about it. I ringed the doorbell and I waited for someone to open the door with all my eagerness and apprehension. Some gentleman let us in and asked if we came to see a pop – up store? Without even giving it a thought, we answered with a big YES.
The interiors made me feel like being in a totally different, surrealistic world. This is one of those moments in your life, when you are not really sure whether what you see is real or is it just a dream out of which you are going to wake up soon.
When I stepped upstairs, I didn’t know what to look for or where to look at – the walls, the ceiling or the floor. That might sound a bit funny but art was everywhere! It’s not even about beautiful paintings hanging on the wall – the wall itself was an artist’s masterpiece!
The central part of this place was occupied by a massive bar and a lounge space. And on the right side; you could see platform for the DJ which could be easily transformed into a small performance stage.
During my first visit to the place, I had an amazing time and from the very first moment, I got really curious to dig a little bit more and get to know the historical aspect of this place and the main concept behind it. Therefore I interviewed Krisztina Ilosfai, who is the PR and Events manager of Brody House Group.
The Spoiled Queen: Starting from the scratch – what is the main difference between Brody House and Brody Studios?
Krisztina Ilosfai: Brody House was the first venue we created in 2009 to provide inspiring unique space for out-of town visitors. We were flattered to be described by Hotel Guru as “the coolest place to stay in the city” as all guest bedrooms are named after eponymous resident artists and they are all decorated in a hip, ruggedly elegant style. Staying at Brody House feels like you are staying at Budapest’s best house party according to previous guests. This boutique hotel is located on Bródy Sándor utca next to the National Museum. Only last week, Brody House won the ’Best Budget Boutique Hotel Award’ at Smith Hotel Awards in London.
Brody Studios, the all-in-one members’ arts club, studio bar and events space is the bohemian child of Brody House with signature rough-luxe walls and design elements all created / upcycled by the in-house design team. This creative club houses artists, musicians and hosts regular fashion, music, literature and art events for its members. Opened earlier this year, this venue is located on Vörösmarty Street, just off of Andrássy Avenue (oft-described as Budapest’s ’Champs Elysees’).
The Spoiled Queen: Could you tell me, how it all began? What was the first impulse to open Brody House and after Brody Studios?
Krisztina Ilosfai: Brody House was a culmination of commercial, social and creative objectives founded by Peter Grundberg and William Clothier. They sought to create an environment where dynamic and creative people from any discipline or background could meet and enjoy interacting with each other. They espied a gap in the market for a meeting point for both local and international people. Initially, when I joined the company 5 years ago we were known for organizing large themed parties in unique buildings such as the Exchange Palace, or Varkert Casino. Since then we built our membership database organically through personal efforts with the aim to create an open-minded and socially curious community focusing on creativity in the widest sense possible. It was only natural that looking in from the outside on what this city has to offer, Brody House, Budapest’s first arts club was created with the aim to put contemporary art and local creativity on the map worldwide.
The Spoiled Queen: “A doorway to higher mind and a creative spirit” – this sentence describes Brody House on its Facebook fan page, how shall we understand this?
Krisztina Ilosfai: I feel this sentence that originally comes from a journalist writing about Brody House in Think Magazine, captures perfectly our aim to inspire, feed all senses by providing an interactive platform for the arts and creativity.
The Spoiled Queen: What type of events are organized in Brody Studios?
Krisztina Ilosfai: Art exhibitions, fashion pop-up stores, live jazz and ‘unplugged’ music sessions, book launches, film screenings, charity auctions, debates and dinners with keynote speakers – in a nutshell, creative happenings and events with international appeal.
The Spoiled Queen: Let’s talk a little bit about the artists. Who are they and what do they mainly present in Brody Studios?
Krisztina Ilosfai: The resident artists are Zsófi Fenyvesi – a.k.a. Miss Margrin, Fukui Yusuke, Yan Yeresko, Alexander Tinei and Aubrey Ramage-Lay. Furthermore, we work together with many local artists, typically painters, graphic- and fashion designers, authors and photographers. We have new exhibitions opening on a biweekly basis resulting in different look and feel in the club every time someone visits.
As we also have a music productions unit led by LA born Ray Brown we work closely with bands locally and internationally too via our partner clubs and other contact leads. Weaving between regular fashion, tv and film shoots musical acts and bands use our spaces as a backdrop for their music videos – here is an example by one friend + Brody House member Balazs Feher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4LYaHakaV0
The Spoiled Queen: Do you select them carefully? (artists) or you give a chance to everyone, who comes to you and would like to present some sort of art?
Krisztina Ilosfai: We hand-select each artists and curate their collection presented on our walls. We have an in-house curator looking after this process. Typically we receive many requests through our membership database or artists get to know about us on a ‘word of mouth’ basis and contact us directly.
The Spoiled Queen: Brody Studios is not open for everyone, what are the steps to receive required membership?
Krisztina Ilosfai: If you are interested in joining Brody House, you may apply online here but you need referral by two existing member to gain acceptance. If you are unfamiliar with our members but you reach out to us to express interest we usually invite you to the events to get to know you. To become a member you don’t need to be an artist but it’s important that you have an open mind.
The Spoiled Queen: What is the main reason to keep Brody Studios as a “low profile”?
Krisztina Ilosfai: Our policy is not to advertise but rely on a ‘word of mouth’ introduction system to ensure the right quality of visitors. As we like to put it, we consider ourselves ‘exclusively inclusive’.
As Krisztina mentioned, Brody Studios is not only a place for different arranged events, it is also a shelter for those diligent artists who have best possible conditions to create some of the exceptional works of art.
Do you remember my post about Faun Project? Some of you would probably asked yourselves from where those guys getting such great ideas for their long board designs?? Since Zsófi Fenyvesi – a.k.a. Miss Margrin (the core member of Faun Project) has her art studio in Brody, the answer seems to be pretty obvious.
And once again I can say that I am one of those privileged people who had a huge luck to end up in Budapest and have all these major events on my fingertips.
Already inspired? Check out the links below to know more about upcoming events.