Budapest native Mihály Biró (1886-1948) joined the Social Democratic cause early in life. He spent the period between 1910 and 1914, designing striking and widely noted posters and illustrations for the SZDP [Hungarian Social Democratic Party].
Following the First World War, Biró became the graphic mouthpiece of the new Red Army of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. The advent of the right-wing dictatorship of Miklós Horthy soon forced him to flee to Vienna, however, where he created the Horthy Portfolio (1920), consisting of color lithographs documenting the atrocities of the Horthy regime.
Alongside the political posters — Biró’s true calling — he also created posters for individual businesses and the booming film industry. Biró finally fled from Austrofascism in 1934 and settled in Czechoslovakia, where he became ill and deeply depressed. In 1938, he succeeded in fleeing on to Paris, where he was to stay until 1947.
It was only in 1947 that he was able to return to Budapest, where he died in 1948.