"One of the things that inspire me the most is the conjunction of a fashion show presentation and fashion designs… I can visualize my abstracted and surreal characters in an environment."



Today Fab Ego is so delighted to introduce you an outstanding fashion illustrator, GABRIELLO DE SURR. A few months ago, I stumbled upon Gabriellos’ work @ Instagram, again proving how fantastic this platform is for a discovery of an emerging talent. Gabriello's work is quite superior to the fashion illustration world because of its distinguished stylistic direction. Inspired by cubism and surrealism Gabriello creates the kind of fashion illustration that challenges a viewer, makes one think about fashion in a different artistic perspective. Surr's subjects walk into the viewers’ imagination and their dimensional appearances transfer one into a parallel world full of geometric shapes and creatures that resemble fashionable humans from another universe. Understanding that fashion illustration can be not only a picture of the recent designer’s collection Gabriello builds sculptures on a paper from cut out figures and photographs them with a flash. It enables him to have those shadows that make figures come out of the paper. It’s indeed an evolutionary perception of a fashion illustration. It’s a combination of art and fashion where the final result is an undeniable superiority of someone’s exquisite imagination.


Tell us about you and your work.

I was born in Puerto Rico and I currently live and work in Florida. I'm a multimedia fashion artist with a strong passion for fashion illustration, drawing and photography.


Describe your personal style as an artist.  Do you like to dress up to express yourself?

I think my style is a combination of surrealism cubism and fashion. And in regards to expressing myself through fashion I enjoy minimal clothing and bold geometry design. So when I want to make a fashion statement I often look like a Mondrian painting in neutrals.   


Where do you find your inspiration?

For a lot of my fashion artworks I get inspired by a combination of fashion shows and the designers' collections. Also fine art and photography are amazing sources of inspiration.


What do you most enjoy depicting in your artwork?

I enjoy destructing the figure in many of my pieces. Also I love to combine landscape or cityscape elements with the figures. So with the introduction of fashion illustration into my art practice I get to use the figure quite often and deconstruct it many ways.   


What is your creative process?

I like to sketch at first the idea. Sketching definitely helps a lot even if I'm doing a photographic piece. Also listening to music and watching fashion shows helps a lot in the beginning of a project. If I'm doing a photographic piece I usually create all the elements by hand in paper. After all elements are done I set up the composition and then I photograph it. And for the final step the photograph goes into Photoshop for editing and retouching.  


Your artistic statement:

My fashion artwork heavily influenced by designers’ collections, fashion show presentations, my memories and my surrealistically abstract perspectives. One of the things that inspire me the most is the conjunction of a fashion show presentation and fashion designs. The reason I get inspired by fashion shows is because I can visualize my abstracted and surreal characters in an environment. In my earlier pieces I didn’t include the environment as much as I do now. With the development of my latest pieces I feel like it’s a must to create a fashion landscape that speaks about the selected collection and the figures. I like to imagine my characters and their environment combined accordingly to the aesthetic of the fashion collection. So not only the figures are dressed in the collection but also the environment is purely inspired by the designs and the designer’s point of view. In regards to my process, most of the work is made by hand and the illustration parts are hand drawn. The new works I’ve been creating are completely out of paper and are documented photographically. The reason I used paper for the new works is because I have been relating the ephemeral quality of fashion with the materiality of paper. The fashion world is constantly changing and I wanted to evoke that idea within the new pieces by using a material that constantly changes and doesn’t last forever.   


Where do you shop for your paints, canvases and other art materials? What kind of art materials do you like to use? 

I like to buy art materials at the local art stores in my area but if I don’t find what I’m looking for I go online. One of the materials that I like to use the most is paper. I used to play with paper a lot as a kid so I have deeper relationship with the material.


How did you begin a career in fashion illustration industry?

Around a year and a half ago I decided to start a career in fashion illustration industry. Even though I was already developing a career as a fine artist and photographer, I wanted to explore my other passion, which is fashion. So I decided to fuse my fine art background and fashion to create works that challenge the viewer conceptually but at the same time present fashion design on the forefront as well.    


Do you have a background in fashion?

No, I don’t have a formal background in fashion. However I’ve been passionate about artistry of fashion all my life because of my mother.


Did you go to an art school?

Yes, I attended an art school and I obtained a BFA from the University of South Florida.


Do you draw full time? What other passions do you have?

I like to draw as much as I can but I also enjoy photography a lot. So what I try to do is to combine both as much as I can while developing my new projects.


Your vision of fashion illustration is quite different, was it always the same or it developed over the years?

I have always enjoyed drawing very abstracted and surrealistic images even as a kid. But I definitely think that I have developed and refined it more over the years. One of the main reasons why I like to draw that way is because I like challenge the viewers experience while exploring and investigating my pieces at a deeper level.


How do you think the use of Instagram has benefited your art practice?

Instagram has definitely helped me to share my art with the world and it has exposed me to new artists and media as well. 


Are you actively involved in a community of artists?

Yes, absolutely! I think it is very important to support and network with other artists.


Name your top influences (artists or otherwise):

First of all I have to say my mother. She has been a great influence in the development of me as an artist. And in regards to the fine art and fashion world I have a couple but here are my top three Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Marc Jacobs.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to see myself as an established and successful fashion artist and photographer.


What moves you?

I moved by culture, memories, art, fashion and design.


Your favorite color, why?

Gray, even though it is not a color I like the most yet it can be modern, elegant and a great base to make a color pop.


Your favorite place on Earth:

I would have to say where I was born, Puerto Rico.


Your dream place:

Right now I have a little obsession with Spain. It’s a country full of culture and I would love to experience it at some point in my life. So at this moment that is my choice.


Does environmental concern enter your work practice?

Yes, it has definitely entered my work practice. A couple months ago I’ve done collaboration with another artist and the venue where the work was going to be shown was a green space. So we decided to create a piece using recycled materials with a concept that spoke about environment conservation. Basically I think it’s a very important subject and is always good to bring it to the forefront.   


What can make Earth a better place in terms of environment, energy and peace?

I think a combination of all three, it’s very essential that the whole world become involved in that matter.


How can your vision, your creations can impact our surrounding? 

I believe that a change has to start within us. So I would like for discrimination against gender, race or sexual orientation to stop. It’s something that continues to affect our society every single day even though many think it doesn't affect us anymore. So if I can create artwork that speaks about this issue and brings it forward to an audience to think about, it would be a wonderful step towards change.


Your wishes to Fab Ego:

First of all I would like to thank you guys for featuring my work and vision on your platform. The magazine looks amazing and the selection of art, fashion and photography is superb. I wish you guys all the best and lots of success. Again thank so much!  


Support www.

Instagram @gabriellodesurr



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