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Minus Equals Plus: Istvan Banyai [Paperback]

Istvan Banyai , Kurt Andersen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (1 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810929902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810929906
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 23 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,594,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The first published collection of work by illustrator Istvan Banyai, whose work portrays the dream lives of today's New York and Los Angeles hip urban style-setters. Banyai's repertoire of visual special effects is perfectly suited to a pop culture in which anything - appearance, identity, status - can be morphed into its opposite. In his universe, reflections and shadows become alternative realities, faces are interchangeable, and sex is a game played with laptop and webcam.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspiring 7 April 2006
Banyai draws illustrations that I wish I could have done. Not simply the style but the originality of subject. No words are neccessary in this collection just open up and gaze at the contents. Crisp lines and solid colours bring to life a world that could only be dreamt up by an illustrator with a very personal outlook on life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A VISUAL FEAST 2 July 2001
By Richard Myers - Published on
I'd better admit something before I start this review. I'm a friend of Istvan Banyai. We've been known to drink aviator cocktails in New York bars. We've laughed a lot. Both before taking off with the aviators and also in flight. Minus Equals Plus is a portfolio of Istvan's illustration work. On a functional level anyone will see that he's a master craftsman/draughtsman. But this sublime skill is easily overshadowed by his imagination and intellect which manifest themselves in the most jaw-droppingly brilliant flights of fancy and acute visual wit. At the heart of this playfulness(and, on occasion, more sinister excursions)is Istvan's ability to conjure up extraordinary and unexpected connections between objects/people/situations. As you turn the pages, you can feel your retinas smiling. "Zoom" is probably Istvan's most widely acclaimed work. A children's book which starts on a close-up image of a cockerel's crest and then takes you further and further from the original object and its context until you reach the final picture: planet earth seen from space. How? Read the book. This is Istvan working his magic for children. He's good for an adult audience too. His X-rated illustrations are very sexy. They're never smutty, always erotic. There's a curious innocence about the young man (or possibly young woman) performing cunnilingus on the (other?) woman. The 'performer' is standing, holding the 'performee' upside down. It's just as if the naked waltz they were enjoying went a little haywire. Oh, and this is all happening on television with the single viewer (face unseen) firmly in control of the remote. In another piece, couples grope (and more) each other at a party. Again it avoids being sleazy or laddish. There's a wonderful nonchalance about the whole scene, including the foreground fellatio. Minus Equals Plus is a feast for your eyes. Switching from visual wit to whimsy, sex to satire, surrealism to juxtapositionism. The thing about almost all of this book is its joyousness. Istvan's inclusion of work rejected by various clients and editors over the years is gleeful in itself. You can't help thinking he included it to lead you to only one possible conclusion.That this was their loss. The fools. And now is probably the right time to admit something else. Faced with such visual wealth, words really are so poor and inadequate. So give your eyes (and mind) a treat. They'll thank you for it.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost everything I hoped it would be. . . 15 July 2001
By Logan was his name-o - Published on
Although the artwork is more than up to par, in a good portion of the book, it's too small to enjoy it fully. If a magnifying glass was included with the purchase, it would be five stars all the way.
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