The son of two graphic designers, Otto D'Ambra was surrounded by strong visual imagery and creative tools long before studying Fine Art. He subsequently majored in Set Design at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan. He spent the next few years working in a wide variety of creative enterprises ranging from advertising to set design. In 2013 Otto relocated to East London where he opened The White Elephant Studio to concentrate solely on his work as an illustrator, printmaker and tattoo artist.
Surreal in its aesthetic and metaphysical in concept, Otto D'Ambra's work focuses on the (d)evolution of people in the face of values promoted by the Digital Age we live in. Blending multiple elements from the animal kingdom, his illustrations address the inseparable link between modern man and his primordial nature, highlighting the dangers of our incessant pursuit of ephemeral pleasures and deceptive concepts of wellbeing. These intricate fusions of animals are in fact metaphorical representations of the complicated nature of the human condition. The head of a parrot may fuse with the winding tentacles of a jellyfish resulting in a fantastical creature alluding to the poisonous potential of the contemporary obsession with the mimicry of celebrity culture.
This exhibition showcases Otto D'Ambra's mastery of a wide variety of media, including ink on paper, etchings, prints, light boxes and - for the very first time – sculpture. Regardless of the mode of production, however, these works fully represent the artist’s superlative technical abilities and distinctly quirky view of reality. Ecce Animal: Reality's B-Side urges us to address our place in the world and get in touch with our instinctive selves before they are lost to us in a society all too eager to subvert our originality.