In conversation with Parisian artist Ugo Gattoni
Ugo Gattoni is a Parisian born and bred artist and art director, whose surreal and exquisitely detailed portraits, depictions of cityscapes, and strange, otherworldly objects and artefacts are renowned worldwide for their unparalleled level of skill.
Working predominantly with graphite or ink, Ugo Gattoni’s work is a monochromatic whirlwind of minute details, dreamlike characters and typography. He first came to fame in 2011 when he created a 33 ft mural in Paris, and later his book for NoBrow titled Bicycle attracted him the attention of Hermès who he has been working with since.
We caught up with the artist in Berlin last week, following his talk at Pictoplasma Conference where he spoke about his creative process and latest collaboration with Hermès.
Many of your drawings seem to have an element of destruction or apocalyptic theme, could you tell us a little about that?
It’s not the first time I get asked it. It’s not the fact of destruction which interest me, but I love deconstruction because of cutting elements, like bodies or architectures to reveal something surprising. I like more playing with the shapes, trying to twist realistic elements to see above its usual form. I love drawing rifts for example, I guess it make the drawing fiber a bit, it make it more alive.
How did you develop your ideas and source inspiration for ‘Hippopolis’ – your recent scarf design for Hermès?
For the first Carré, I felt that it was important to choose the emblem of the house. I don’t really know why, but I started to think about the Temple of Horses, a ginormous and phantasmagorical architecture inhabited by horses. First comes the atmosphere, the décor. For this one, it was a city where the central monument is a gigantic statue that pierces through the clouds. I don’t know why but it was my first idea coming.
You also mentioned in your talk that at your suggestion, an animation about the design was made. Why was this important to you?
I guess it’s like seeing behind the scene. Having more point of views than only one. I tell myself stories whenever I draw, I imagine the drawing coming to life, get animated. It’s like going further into the story I guess. I could give to my horses a way of walking, a mood, make jokes, etc… For me it’s a medium which complete well the story I want to tell, giving more elements to get immerse into this illustrated world.
Can you tell us anything about future plans & projects you might be working on?
I just finish a installation for Ruinart, the oldest French house of Champagne. It’s about an anamorphosis animation that you could read in the right way in a bottle of Ruinart. I’m also finishing a wallpaper for La Maison Pierre Frey, I spent almost 2 years on this drawing. And a couple more Hermès scarves for 2017 with few surprises I hope.