ANDRÁS BÁNKUTI

Born in Budapest 17 May 1958. He already chose the photography faculty in his Kölcsey High School, later completing the Práter Street photography school. Here, as a student of Kati Baricz, he found great creativity and a drive for his later career. His first press photos were published in Magyar Ifjúság [Hungarian Youth]. He was an intern at the cultural weekly, Új Tükör [New Mirror], under the protective wings of Tamás Révész, Zoltán Szalay and Éva Keleti. Between 1978 and 1985, he was on the staff of the monthly Magyar Szemle [Hungarian Review]. At the same time, he became a member of the Studio of Young Photographic Artists [FFS]. Following seven years as deputy columnist at Magyar Hírlap, he worked at the papers, Köztársaság [Republic] and Reform, and then between 1995 and 2011 he was a culomnist at Heti Világgazdaság [Weekly World Economics]. He is currently on staff at the weekly Figyelő [Observer] and editor-in-chief of Digitális Fotó Magazin [Digital Photography Magazine]. He is a member of the Association of Hungarian Photographic Artists [MFSZ] since 1986.

The primary characteristic of his photographic oeuvre is his unique perspective. When he began to photograph the Győr Ballet – which at the time was a “hit” theme, he immortalised their rehearsals, the beautiful and excruciating work behind the scenes – the entire path leading to their performance. (His Győri Balett album was published in 1999.) His 2003 volume, entitled Szélső értékek [Extreme Values] gathered his social-sociological documentation of the era, in which the personality and approach of the photographer render the recording of the subject matter possible. If he is accepted, a good photograph can be born – whether the subject is a punk, a skinhead, a politician, a miner, or homeless.

Because his mother was Russian, he speaks the language, and he regularly travelled to the Soviet Union, and to its newly independent states. His masterful knowledge of location and insight into people’s character aid him is producing exceptional images and photo-essays. That entitled Russians in 2006 compiled his Soviet and Russian dispatches. Here at home, he also produced countless political reports: on the final days of the Kádár regime, on the termination of traditional industrial mining, on the demonstration commemorating the ’68 Prague Spring, and on the many important events related to the political changes 1989-90.

Alongside his work as a photojournalist, he is also an organiser on the public scene of Hungarian photography. Together with Magdolna Kolta and Károly Kincses, he was a founder of the Mai Manó House – House of Photography, and for years, he was Chair of the Photojournalism section of the Association of Hungarian Journalists (MÚOSZ), as well as being a curator and organiser of exhibitions in Hungary and abroad. He is editor of both the periodical Fotóriporter [Photo-Journalist], and the Az Év Fotói [Photos of the Year] catalogues accompanying the Hungarian Press Photo exhibitions. In 1999 he was awarded the André Kertész scholarship, which aided him in producing the material for his exhibition, entitled Párizsi éjszakák [Parisian Nights].

The photojournalist has been awarded Balogh Rudolf, Táncsics Mihály, and Pulitzer Prizes, as well as being named International Master of Press Photography. His photographs are held at the Hungarian Museum of Photography, the Hungarian National Museum, the Historical Photographic Archive, and the Körmendi-Csák Collection of 20th Century Hungarian Photography.

(c) András Bánkuti

(c) András Bánkuti

(c) András Bánkuti

(c) András Bánkuti

 

(c) András Bánkuti

(c) András Bánkuti