Istvan Banyai

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Istvan Banyai (born in Budapest, Hungary, February 27, 1949) received his BFA from Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest and gained prominence as a commercial illustrator and animator in the mid-1980s when he emigrated to the United States.

In 1995 Banyai produced his first wordless children's book, Zoom. Honored as one of the best children's books of the year by the New York Times and Publishers Weekly, Zoom was soon published in 18 languages. He went on to author four more books and illustrate many more in collaboration with other writers and poets. "It's refreshing to encounter a group of virtually wordless books that invite children to consider their world from a point of view they may not have otherwise considered. The most stunning is Zoom, written—or, rather, imagined and then illustrated—by Istvan Banyai." [1]

While he continues to produce commercial illustrations for publications such as The New Yorker, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Time and Atlantic Monthly; cover art for Sony and Verve Records; and animated short films for Nickelodeon and MTV Europe, he is internationally respected for his unique philosophical and iconoclastic vision, thus transcending the status of commercial illustrator to gifted artist. Banyai describes his art as "an organic combination of turn-of-the-century Viennese retro, interjected with American pop, some European absurdity added for flavor, served on a cartoon-style color palette... no social realism added."[2]

Having moved from Budapest to live in Paris, Los Angeles, and Manhattan, Banyai now lives with his wife in rural Connecticut.

"ZOOM", 1995.

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