André François worked as a painter, sculptor and graphic designer, but is best remembered for his cartoons, whose subtle humor and wide influence bear comparison to those of Saul Steinberg. He initially worked for French leftist newspapers Le Nouvel Observateur and illustrated books by authors such as Jacques Prévert, but gradually reached a larger audience, publishing in leading magazines like Punch, in the United Kingdom and The New Yorker, in the United States.
He also did a masterpiece cover illustration of the 1965 UK Penguin paperback edition of Lord of the Flies. He became a close friend and collaborator of Ronald Searle.
Born André Farkas to an Hungarian family in Temesvár, Austria-Hungary — now Timişoara, Romania —, André studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest from 1932 to 1933. Then he moved to Paris in 1934 and entered to the atelier of the famous poster artist Adolphe Cassandre until 1936. He became a French citizen in 1939.
André died in his home in Grisy-les-Plâtres, in the Val-d’Oise département, in 2005. He said that he felt that his work was more a defence against what goes on in the world around him than an attack upon it.
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