Mega Viki – Viktor Frešo

Due to the strong winds this artwork will not be inflated on January 22 and 23.

Mega Viki (feci) by Viktor Frešo is a large, glowing balloon featuring a basic design of eyes and a mouth – a self-deprecating and irreverent work about the artist’s ego. Frešo intended it as his self-portrait, and the resemblance to his facial features is indeed striking. The title itself is also a play on the author’s name, whose works often reference feminist themes but depict them from a male perspective.

Viki is a popular diminutive form of the female name Viktoria (used in both Poland and Frešo’s native Slovakia). The simple, graphic drawing of the eyes and round lips on the luminous balloon resembles traditional Japanese kokeshi dolls. Their history dates back to the middle of the Edo period when they became popular gifts for children in the northern region of Japan (Tōhoku). The dolls were made of wood and hand-painted, with their heads enlarged compared to the body, and their faces had small lips and eyes marked with two strokes. Kokeshi symbolized youth, girlish beauty, and the innocence of childhood; they were meant to bring luck and divine protection to their owners and were often given to celebrate the birth of a child. These dolls remain a popular part of Japanese culture, with numerous fans and collectors worldwide.

This work is not a static representation of urban transformation but rather an example of artwork that evolves through the influence of its surroundings. During a festival where this artwork was displayed, people started adding their own tags to it. The artist chose to leave it as is, allowing his artwork to be transformed anew into something different. You can also consider this work as a part of the public space where tags frequently appear. People often want to add something of themselves, perhaps to make this public, anonymous environment a bit more personal. This is what happened with this artwork. The tagged canvas presents a striking contrast with Stationsplein, where everything seems clean, intact, and safe.

Artist: Viktor Frešo

Viktor Frešo studied at the Academy of Fine Arts inBratislava and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague,where he graduated in 2003. Frešo is among themost prominent figures in contemporary art in theregion of former Czechoslovakia since 2000. Hisworks and overall approach to art are highlyatypical but also strongly reflect the social andcultural situation. Frešo creates refined conceptsand projects that he presents as seemingly simple,self-contained art pieces. He is often critical in hisworks and expresses disdain for the art sceneitself and its processes, but with a touch oflightness, humor, and playfulness. Whetherintervening in public space or exhibiting in galleries,he ensures that the immediate creative action, theGESTURE, is evident in the execution. In recentyears, he has also been engaged in sculpture andpainting