Now this is how you create a collaborative artwork. Take two leading French illustrators with a shared love of cuisine, give them a week’s residency at the URDLA print shop in Villeurbanne and access to the finest foods of the region – and great wine too – and get them to produce a work based on what they ate.
You can see mcbess and Ugo Gattoni with the end result here, a print called Sweetbread. It’s black-and-white like all of mcbess’s work and much of Ugo’s. Both artists are best known for artworks that have no clear focal point, instead being packed with detail that encourages you to spend a lot of time exploring – discovering delightful details and characters. As your eye cruises around this print, you find elements that you know which artist was behind – from one of mcbess’s hipsters with tall, thin eyes to Ugo’s overwhelmingly-detailed architecture.
The pool was the beginning part for the collaboration, with Ugo focussing on the diving platform and mcbess on the sausage factory.
Before starting, the artists toured Lyon's food markets to stock up on local produce to feast on before – and during – their collaboration.
Their progress through the project was captured by photographer Royx (aka Nicolas Royol).
The artwork began as sketches on an iPad.
From here the artists worked up a rough in pencil.
They then used Rotring pens to draw on a lithographic stone.
When the drawing was finished, the stone was ready for printing.
The staff ar the URDLA print shop inked the stone for printing.
And the print was produced on a traditional lithographic press.
The 56 x76 cm print is available in an edition of 30 for £298, on 250gsm Velin paper. Each is signed and numbered by the artists.
The project follows Ugo’s first print produced at URDLA called Sybile’s Bath, which was also his first drypoint etching. You can learn more about that project in our story here.