My visit to the annual International Comics Festival (organised by the veteran comics mag "Babel" for the past 12 years with great success and visiting artists from around the world) would be just pleasing pastime hadn't it been for a spectacular relevation: the exhibited works of a Hungarian illustrator, graphic designer and painter named Ferenc Pinter.
Yes, there were a couple of other artists i found really noteworthy: namely the young Italian Paolo Cossi and Greeks Derveniotis and Kiriazis. But entering the building where Pinter's work was displayed I experienced this rare, mild shock that occurs about once or twice a year and fills you with this special mix of creative envy, fascination, and an innocent belief that the world is a beautiful place where miraculous events take place and people live a colorful, wonderful life. Yes, only exageration and overenthusiastic rhetoric could describe the feelings I experienced looking at his work and the staggering quality of the work itself.
Amazing technique, meticulous attention to detail, breathtaking use of colour and light, intimidating multidisciplinary skills that span the whole art/design spectrum; a beautiful sense of space, a thought-provoking and surprising use of concepts, ocassionaly a mysterious and violent undertone - and a highly original personal style that brings to mind a hundred things and nothing you've ever seen at the same time.
Apparently Pinter is a true master, a heavyweight member of the exclusive Pantheon of the great ones. In my mind's eye I can see him smoking his pipe and joking with other great unknowns like Raymond Savignac, Max Cabanes and Miroslav Sasek not caring a bit about the fact he's about 100 times less known than designers a 100 times less original and talented than him. Why should he, when he knows he sits there in Art Heaven just meters away from the Picassos and the Paul Rands. He doesn't mind if we, Google or Amazon know nearly nothing about him.
From a designer's point of view, I can only bow humbly to Mr Pinter. "Chapeau" as my uncle said as we left the exhibition room. I really hope that history itself will feel the same about him.