Mario Hugo

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Mario Hugo is a New York based artist, designer, and co-founder of Hugo & Marie. Though he spends an inordinate amount of time in front of his computer, he still feels most honest with a pencil and two or more sheets of paper. Mario has worked with clients that include Stella McCartney, Rihanna, Dolce & Gabbana and Lorde.

Born to Argentine parents, Mario Hugo Gonzalez is the eldest of four first-generation children. Always a natural with pen and paper, he studied fine art and sociology at Boston College, but a junior-year trip to Sydney led him by chance to the Semi Permanent design conference. He returned wanting “to learn more about speaking to people and communications,” so he transferred to Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute to study art direction. After graduating in 2005, Hugo took a job at interdisciplinary studio Syrup NYC, working on websites for the MTV Video Music Awards and L’Oréal. Describing that work as “too ephemeral and strange for me," he says he prefers to create “things for people to treasure, to keep and look at in 15 years.”

His work is predominantly black-and-white with spare use of color (he confesses to being partly color-blind). The overall effect is at once new and old: technically precise, yet aged and imperfect. He says, “I’m inspired by a lot of cultural references, but none of them are recent.”

Mario’s work has been exhibited around the world including at Illustrative in Berlin, If You Could in London, Communications in Los Angeles, and at Vallery in Barcelona, which was home to his first solo show in 2007.

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