Water for Elephant by Ugo Gattoni

Despite the changing style of illustrator Ugo Gattoni, his work remains continually characterised by mind-boggling detail.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

For his upcoming Water for Elephant exhibition, we see a shift towards a sort of fauna and flora portraiture, where the realism of painstaking perfection is upended by a surreal twist.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

An elephant’s trunk is knotted and its papery ears seem to be disintegrating before our eyes, while a unicorn, by its nature already quite surreal, appears to have a wooden horn.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

For those that thought flora portraiture was impossible, see this beaming artichoke.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

There will be a chance to see some of Gattoni’s earlier work as well, allowing you to catch up on his short but illustrious career.

He’s already made this with illustrator McBess for the Hayward Gallery, and during the London Olympics was invited by the Nobrow collective to create an illustrated narrative book Bicycle, which reimagines the streets of London as a playground for athletes, cycle-couriers and commuters.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

Pieces from Bicycle will be on display, alongside Water for Elephant, and there will be a mural painted directly onto venue The Book Club’s wall.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

There is also a chance to see collaborative work with illustrators Tyrsa, Jean Spezial, and McBess.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

All of the artworks will be available to buy in various forms including t-shirts, scarves, hoodies, and wood.

From the Water for Elephant exhibition

Water for Elephant by Ugo Gattoni runs from 22 November – 3 February at The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, EC2.

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