“Spring Is in the Air” by Istvan Banyai, New Yorker magazine, May 6, 2002. © Condé Nast.

The New Yorker: “Spring Is in the Air” by Istvan Banyai, May 6, 2002. © Condé Nast.

Istvan Banyai was born in Budapest (Hungary) in 1949 and moved to the United-States in the mid-1980s. Aside forThe New Yorker he also produces illustrations for Atlantic Monthly, Time, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. The easiest way to browse through a good selection of his illustrations is to access his portofolio at Début Art: Istvan Banyai. His official website hasn’t been updated in a while but it’s worth a visit nonetheless (it’s unconventional, to say the least): ist-one.com.
Istvan Banyai also creates artistic concepts for advertisement, animations for TV channels and most notably wordless illustrated children’s books for which he won multiple awards. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times review for his book The Other Side (Chronicle Books, 2005):

Banyai, a Hungarian-born self-proclaimed provocateur, likes to makes pictures that whip the viewer into a fury of fast-paced looking. His books make us feel like someone caught in a sudden rush of traffic. They draw us into a world in constant flux. Abrupt change and reversals are the order of the day. It is a world that must be understood without language, where it pays to be constantly on your guard. In this, it is very much the domain of the displaced person or émigré, who, since he can’t read the street signs, has to be hyper-alert. (“’The Other Side’ and ‘Imagine’: Look Again” by David Small, November 13, 2005)

One can find some of his books on Amazon.
Istvan Banyai is currently represented by Betsy Hillman. He lives and works in rural Connecticut with his wife.


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