The Transformers of Podgorica
When visiting a new city, particularly a capital, I’m always on the lookout for interesting street art be it graffiti or something more sophisticated. But what we found in Podgorica was some street art of the less conventional kind.
On street corners all over the (albeit small) city, we came across giant robots. When we spotted the first one we were puzzled by this unusual piece of work that seemed to be built from spare car parts. We then noticed more and more, the largest one reaching up to 14 metres tall. We discovered they were created by 23-year-old sculptor Danilo Baletic and they are based on the original 1980s animated TV series, ‘Transformers’. Like millions of other children growing up in the ‘80s, he was a big fan of the robots. However unlike most children his father owned a scrapyard. Using scrap metal parts from trucks, tanks, boats and even aeroplanes he welded them together to build several fearsome-looking robot sculptures inspired by his favourite TV show.
However, Baletic’s Transformers also have a message behind them. Daniel wants to encourage greener living and more recycling. The idea is to remind people that anything, even waste, can be transformed into something meaningful. Baletic’s hope is that his Transformers make people realise that “the planet is wasting its resources whilst people spend money on commodities, and that so much was being thrown away that could be re-used.”
We didn’t see them all but there are seven Transformer sculptures on the streets of the capital – the first one appeared in August 2012 as part of an exhibition called ‘Transformers defending Podgorica’. The largest one dominates the main square and is called ‘Megatron’ but the others are easy to stumble upon as Montenegro’s capital city is pretty small. Should you need guidance, a walking tour and map of the transformer locations can be found on Living in Montenegro.
Transformers is something I didn’t get into as a child, but apparently it’s still on television!
Montenegro’s capital is a small and compact city and it’s hard to miss Podgorica’s unique form of street art during a wander.
There is a whole lot more to Podgorica than Transformers and more photographs of Montenegro can be seen here.