By 1996 he had developed stronger ties to Hungary and established a successful market in the international business/diplomatic community which led to a commission by Budapest Office of Tourism for Europe-wide exhibition of the city. His framed photographs were also purchased by the Foreign Ministry and sent to Hungarian Missions Abroad. His work has shown at the American/Hungarian Museum, New Jersey, Budapest Spring Festival, the Hungarian Consulate NY, Vancouver BC, L.A. Hungarian Consulate, London ("Magyar Magic") and The Netherlands (”Hungary-At-See”). His work has appeared in many American and Hungarian publications.
“As a photographer I have been interested in Hungarian folk culture since my introduction to this fascinatingly rich part of the world in 1989 while living and dancing in Colorado. As a dancer I had become fascinated with the syncopated rhythms, the improvisational boot-slapping and body-whacking the strength involved in throwing woman around, and of course, the dominant masculine energy and machismo. Upon seeing it the first time I remember saying, "Hey that's how I dance now, what's this called?" I've been involved in it since moving to Budapest in 1995. Since then, my field of interest has been the traditional folk culture of Europe's largest ethnic minority, the Hungarians of Romania uprooted since the Treaty of Trianon in 1920.”
His images - and over a decade of experiences - have now been collected in two beautifully publications - "Budapest Through My Lens, a Solitary Perspective", and "Tiz estendo Erdelyben/Ten Years In Transylvania.” Both are exquisite hardcover albums. In his first book of unique black and white photographs of the capital, he photographs the Gothic spires and neo-classic facades and urban city-scapes; He is also renown for his sensitive images of a Hungarian folk culture that still survives in Hungarian speaking Transylvania (Romania). In his second publication, we take a personal journey through a fabled landscape, revealing the still powerful vestiges of an ancient culture that have changed little over time in spite of the encroaching eastern wave of westernism.
Stephen's journey through Transylvania, reveals his passion and his search for the rich folk culture that remains despite it being in its ‘utoso ora’ (last hours). This passion earned him high standing with the Hungarian Cultural Ministry who generously supported his book and tours in Europe and USA. His “Budapest portfolio” - his first pubished work sold out, gaining international recognition, and revealed he had “fallen in love with the city’s old world turn-of-the-century charm of her ‘Golden Age.’
Spinder was invited for the official premiere of his Budapest book at the in Washington, DC., Ambassador Simonyi (Hungarian Embassy). By 2004 – ”Ten Years In Transylvania” – gained the attention of Dr. István Hiller, Hungarian Cultural Ministry and Katalin Bogyay with an exhibition at the Hungarian Cultural Center in London, part of "Magyar Magic". In December 2005, Budapest books were presented to US President George W. Bush, George H. Bush, Colin Powell and the Hungarian Prime Minister.
He returns often to USA and has now produced 15 successful book/exhibition tours, where his two published books found recognition and exposure in major US media including the New York Times. Through photographs and stories we learn about his interesting and incredibly unique 16-year history - his discovery of and travel through Transylvania and his city-life in Budapest. A dynamic, informative and humorous speaker, Stephen brings the images to life with personally refreshingly and entertaining stories.
This is a brief history of Mr. Spinder’s most recent photographic projects and accomplishments both here and in USA. Having completed 14 USA exhibition/presentation book tours, Stephen was recently invited to participate in events remembering the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, including “Budapest Then And Now" an exhibition in Boston with Gabor Garai, Honorary Consul General; and at the prestigious George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. his home town; and his first exhibition at the Rochester Image City Photography Gallery.
"My immediate aim and focus is to search out avenues to help bring awareness of the beauty of this city and its people - to allow American and Europeans to discover the rich beauty and charm of this ancient capital city. Budapest is proud of her multitude of architectural styles, and Transylvania still guards and preserves her folklor traditions. I feel strongly that these sights and stories, as illustrated in my journey, will transform people throughout the art/travel/book/ lovers circle."
Excerpt from “Budapest Through My Lens”:
“A crossroads in Eastern Europe, Budapest is a romantic meeting point for people from diverse cultures. Some come to visit and stay a week. Others are sent here by their parent company headquartered in another country and leave upon the completion of their contract. Still others ended up here when, as they were looking for a place to go, they found an abundant market for teaching English and a relatively inexpensive cost of living. My experience was not like this at all. I came here because I wanted to. So, my love affair with Budapest and Transylvania started in the fall of 1991. I didn't realize it then. Even after the change of the political system I had a glance behind the Iron Curtain.”
Kindly send me an email to express your interest and your memories (if we have them!) of our meeting and/or how you found me.
George W, Bush; President of United States of America
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