BLOOM: We Are All Animals

By Jo Phillips

Bloom is notorious for its connection to the blush of bright florals and delicate little beauties. Perhaps we can alter that perception to the black/white pigments and unyielding surrealism Otto D’Ambra offers through his artwork.

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Internationally renowned artist Otto D’Ambra debuts his first UK solo show “We are all animals”, bringing his unrivalled power of creativity to the Curious Duke Gallery. His pieces portray the blooming of madness that is surrealist art, combining human elements with the inanimate, as love and societal ideas collide into perfect chaos. From cities balancing on the back of a circus rhino to a child emerging from the body of a near decapitated bird, his hybrids can’t help but intrigue and drive one to question, ‘does an animal live inside all of us?’

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The Italian printmaker and illustrator develops his research of personal aesthetics in his pictorial and graphic drawings, incorporating his fascination with body art into the heart of his creations.

Tonight’s show opening will feature an ‘art on skin’ performance from a female admirer of Otto’s work, presenting one of his surreal hybrids tattooed onto her body from shoulder to thigh.

D’Ambra explains his first solo show to be a platform “to provoke us into thinking of how society perceives and changes us, sometimes actively and sometimes passively, by slowly eating away at our individuality.”

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A unique opportunity will arise on June 22nd as Otto offers the chance to become one of his creations. By photographing the Curious Duke Gallery attendants, he will turn each into bespoke works and designs never to be repeated.

Recognising the art of collaging as a “new way to build images and compositions, whilst keeping the same clearness and powerful messages”, D’Ambra’s new work features an additional motif-collage without neglecting his signature etching style.


We all seek every possible opportunity to release our primal instincts and perhaps with Otto D’Ambra’s help, from the 4th – 27th on 173 Whitecross Street, we have the ideal excuse.

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