Ugo Gattoni luxuriates in creating wacky worlds full of humour and intricacy

5 July 2016


Parisian surrealist illustrator Ugo Gattoni produces artwork on a grand scale, intricately fabricating fantastical worlds for use by some of France’s most prestigious brands.

Invited to visit the Hermès archives and private collection, Ugo spent time learning about the brand and its history before being given creative freedom in his response. Ugo formulated a narrative cityscape pervaded by idiosyncratic intricacies and fully lived-in by the emblematic horses of Hermès which inspired it, full of lively quirks of their own.

Huge and highly detailed, the aptly named Hippopolis features as the centrepiece print on one of Hermès silk scarves. Nevertheless, it was always intended to be brought to life from illustration to animation, Ugo explains: “I already had the layout, so I just zoomed in…and wrote the story of a little horse, wondering thought this phantasmagoric world. It was as simple. No constraints.”

Inspired by the likes of Escher, Dalí and Bosch, Ugo’s work is concerned with delivering the viewer wholeheartedly into his wacky dreamscape worlds. “The huge sized drawing and big level of details are important to immerse people…When you are quite close to it, you’re surrounded by it, flooded…it’s important for me, making people getting lost with their mind, and be surprised in a new crazy world,” he says.

Highly in demand by luxury brands, Ugo most recently lent his style to tell a surrealist interpretation of Ruinart’s aesthetic and history, in a new animation created for the champagne house’s exhibition in Tokyo. Ugo is also currently completing a new large scale illustration called Rise for Pierre Frey to use as an intricate wallpaper design in the autumn, as well as working on three further scarf designs for his patrons Hermès.

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Jamie Green

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