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Behind the scenes: Trojan Horse was a Unicorn


By Henry Winchester

Web: http://www.trojan-unicorn.com (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 14th August 2013

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Trojan Horse was a Unicorn's amazing poster was conceived by Serge Birault and modeled by Jose Alves da Silva


As well as being inspired by the speakers, attendees can expect four days of art-related activities. "We will only stop to rest and sleep to attend the next day," says Rivotti. "We will have an expo area with exhibitions and smaller talks, live drawing with the Suicide Girls, challenges, art battles, and some more surprises." Luis is unsurprisingly coy on what these surprises might be, but says that "We always say to attendees to expect to be challenged. Who knows what might happen..."

Starting fresh

Non-established artists who want to be the next Kemp Remillard or Serge Birault are also catered for. "Those who want to take the first big step into the industry can take advantage of the presence of Gnomon School, Escape Studios, Gobelins L'ecole de L'image and Alex Oliver Studios," says Luis. "And you can book a portfolio review with the artists of your choosing."

One of the festival's unique selling points is its blurring of the lines between amateur and professional. Choice pieces of art from attendees will be on display next to those created by pros, and they've even chosen up-and-coming artist Geoffrey Ernault to give a talk. "We believe that his talent is worthy of showcasing to the industry," says Luis.

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The amazing Tróa peninsula in Portugal. The enormous wooden unicorn is just out of shot


This casual, democratic approach to established and up-and-coming artists has a knock-on effect, too. According to Rivotti: "Younger and aspiring professionals also have a lot to show; some of them are true inspirations to older and more hardened professionals, so there is opportunity and benefits for all. The challenges, the exhibitions, the portfolio reviews - those are all channels to promote exactly that."

European vacation

Overall, the industry's reaction to the festival has been largely positive. There are few such events in Europe, and a number of the speakers, as well as Luis and Rivotti, are native to Portugal. "We always felt that there was something missing in similar events that we went to," says Luis. "They all seemed overly informal, and you couldn't really do any kind of networking." Rivotti chips in: "We wanted to try something different that actually added value to attendees and, of course, that also managed to promote the industry here in Portugal."

"We really can't imagine anything better than a big art festival held in one of the world's most beautiful and secluded places"


The festival itself takes place from the 18-21 September in a five-star hotel on the Tróia peninsula, which is located about 50km from Lisbon, Portugal's capital. The organizers have arranged special rates with surrounding hotels for attendees, and students can benefit from substantial discounts on the event.

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The five-star Tróia Design Hotel forms the venue for Trojan Horse was a Unicorn. That's the 3DTotal yacht moored outside


Both co-directors are keen to mention how good the food is in the area, too, so it'll be crabs rather than the carbs of similar events. "Get ready to taste the best fish and seafood of your life," says Luis.

"The line-up includes just about everyone we'd ever want to see, but it's the chances for interaction with these people, and fellow artists, that makes it feel all the more tempting and inviting"


The Unicorn of the Future

We really can't imagine anything better than a big art festival held in one of the world's most beautiful and secluded places. The line-up includes just about everyone we'd ever want to see, but it's the chances for interaction with these people, and fellow artists, that makes it feel all the more tempting and inviting.

Luis and Rivotti have already started planning the event for next year, too. "We're working on it," says Luis. "For us this is just the first step. We already have a lot of stuff planned that we just couldn't fit in this year... including new guest artists." Rivotti chips in: "I have already marked it in my agenda, so to everyone who wanted to come and for some reason could not, expect a second edition next September."

Related links

Official site
Buy tickets
Blackorange (Andre's company)
Yellow Mammoth (Andre and Nuno's company)

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