Art and science collide at Being / Dreaming, Hugo & Marie’s larger-than-life exhibition at London’s KK Outlet. We’d heard great things about the Brooklyn-based creative agency’s first-ever show, so we turned up to check out what all the fuss is about.
Being / Dreaming is a floor-to-ceiling explosion of brilliant work from Hugo & Marie’s twelve talented artists: Deanne Cheuk, Santtu Mustonen, Mike Perry, Kustaa Saksi, Mario Hugo, Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Tom Darracott, Merijn Hos, Hvass & Hannibal, Jules Julien, Micah Lidberg and MVM.
Created for the show, their provocative pieces interpret topics spanning anatomy, botany, ecology, geometry, energy and mythology – across every media from paint to video.
Meeting of creative minds
The work is beautiful. But what makes the show even more special? Not only is Being / Dreaming the first exhibition to be held featuring all of Hugo & Marie’s artists, it also marks the first time the agency’s creatives (who are based everywhere from New York to The Netherlands) have ever met together, under one roof.
So how did one of the world’s most exciting creative agencies end up running its first exhibition in Shoreditch, some 3,000 miles from its native Brooklyn?
“We'd admired Hugo & Marie's work for a while, and as their roster grew we thought it would be interesting to invite them to do a group show with us,” explains KK Outlet’s Danielle Pender. “A lot of their artists are European so it made sense for them to do something in London.”
As part of the event, KK Outlets – which is the London outpost of Dutch communications agency KesselsKramer – hosted a dinner where Mario Hugo, MVM and Hvass and Hannibal gave presentations about their work.
“Mario talked of his love of Brit pop and how for a long time he tried to make his computer-based work look hand-crafted, but now he's happy for it to be very graphical and embraces the more digitally crafted work,” says Pender. “MVM talked about how Norway has influenced his work. The Nordic landscape is so overpowering that a lot of design is paired back as a result. He traced this influence in his own but also talked about the need for chaos.”
“Hvass and Hannibal talked about a project they'd worked on recently, which seemed to be a disaster. It was a photoshoot and everything went wrong. However when they got the shots back, what they'd originally thought had ruined the piece – mainly the weather – had actually enhanced it and made it more beautiful.”
Particular highlights for us included Mario Hugo’s intricate work and Hvass & Hannibal’s stunning graphical canvases – one of which was created on site, in the studio below the exhibition space. “It was completed about 30 minutes before we opened the doors!” says Pender.
Being / Dreaming runs until 27th April (opening times: Monday - Friday 9-6pm, Saturday 12-5pm). If you haven’t already popped into KK Outlet and you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the work on show…