Ugo Gattoni grew up in the Vitry sur seine in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. He studied Graphic Design at the EPSAA in Paris and graduated in 2010. His first major exhibition included an enormous wall-sized drawing rendered entirely with a black fine-liner pen. Ugo has now gained a reputation for his detailed and surreal black and white cityscape drawings and recently completed a live drawing project at the prestigious Hayward Gallery on London’s Southbank. He has worked on big projects for Nissan (with close friend and collaborator Mcbess) and also has many clients in the fashion and music industries. He is also the proud owner of a fixed gear bicycle that he built himself!
What inspires and informs your work?
My inspirations come firstly from the past, I am still flabbergasted by the work of masters like Dali, Bosch or Michael Angelo… I’m very crazy about mythology (especially Greek mythology), architecture, etc… I like to play with materials like wood, marble and stone. Otherwise, I like stuff from contemporary artists like Santtu Mustonen, Micah Lidberg or Jonathan Zawada. It’s more graphic, more conceptual and it speaks to me a lot.
Lastly, I don’t read many comics, but guys like Moebius or Schuiten inspire me a lot. I try to deconstruct things, to play with the anatomy, and for that, they are kings! I like to play with the scale of my pieces, working on wall-sized drawing, having several levels of reading to immerse people in a world – physically and in their mind. But it’s also a kind of performance, because of the production time and the level of detail, and I like it.
Tell us a bit about your process…
My process is so simple. Once I have the approved sketch, I make a kind of layout, and then I do the shading… it’s a work in 3 steps! Most of the time I draw by hand and I scan after. I only use digital to clean the drawings up or sometimes when doing commercials commissions.