Book Illustration

Gabor Palotai – Zoo

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These illustrations are both a part of and may stand alone from the graphic design novel “Zoo”, the latest book by Gabor Palotai. As the book displays a different point of view on the depictions of animals in the form of figurative illustrations, the animals are portrayed as an abstract work of art: sharply outlined in contrast with a mesmerising pattern in light and dark. The effects of this black and white pattern enhance the impression that each animal is etched into the paper in a texture that evokes tactile sensibility. At the same time, each animal looks bound to the architectural outer shape of its image and appears as being gener- ated as raster graphics. Their bodies seem to be tattooed in undecipherable graphic patterns suggesting that each of them is free to multiply and literally take on any figurative mean- ing. Placing them all in a row, including the human being, they fit together as in a scientific list for determining animal species.

Statement by the Jury

The illustrations of the animals convince with their completely different form of what we are used to seeing. Firstly, the reduced colouring in just black and white causes the viewer to look closer. Secondly, the particular pattern with its etching effect triggers curiosity. And finally, the simplicity of the illustrations is surprising. That sometimes less is needed to tell more strikingly comes true here in a genuinely playful and creative manner.

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