For the tenth edition of the Main Event, we are honored to have a poster by Marc Simonetti, a dear friend who was there for the very first edition in 2013. Over the last decade, he continued by our side, inspiring us with his artistic brilliance and kindness.

We asked him some questions about the creative process behind the poster, which was inspired by the "Everlasting" manifesto. Take a trip through his artistic choices and get insights on his interpretation of this edition's theme.

You have been a part of our story for a long time. Looking back to your first THU, how did your connection with us begin? Do you remember what you thought and felt experiencing it for the first time?

Indeed! My connection to THU is deeply linked with my growth as an artist. I remember receiving the first email with the invitation, seeing the artists that were invited, and feeling humbled.
Then I remember that the travel was surprising: the plane, then the shuttle, then the boat to arrive in that magical place! And then the week seemed like it was both a year long and, at the same time, it’s like it lasted one day. It was a life changing experience. I made many friends there, and had wonderful conversations about art and life.

This year’s theme is “Everlasting”, focusing on how we can achieve immortality through the impact we have on other people’s lives. How did you interpret it for the poster?

There’s a saying that I heard a lot at THU, which was that we are standing on the shoulders of giants. All the artists that paved the way before us, that led us to be artists have created a kind of immortality. Something that inspires generations, something that connects people independently of any language, culture, beliefs. I decided to represent this as a monument, something not dedicated to a god but to art. And this monument is composed of sculptures of awesome artists and friends.

Can you walk us through the process in translating the Manifesto into this visual representation?

Well the manifesto is a beautiful piece of text, and I wanted to respect it. So I tried to stay close to the feeling and I’ve thought of what could give me the same impression visually.

I mixed all the concepts together to arrive at this subject. Regarding the process, it was pretty straightforward; A rough sketch, then a rough colored sketch, then I gathered all my references to paint it in procreate.

There are two specific elements that you included to convey this message: the kid with the backpack and the people in the statues. Can you tell us more about your artistic choices and what they represent? 

The kid represents  the young artists, the future (it is also represented by the baby unicorn that was already there in the beautiful poster made by Michael Kutsche for the main event in 2015).
The young generation has always had the main spot in THU. Most of the event to me is about helping it grow and evolve and pass the torch in a way.

The statues represent friends and artists that represent to me what THU is. First, I wanted to represent Kim Jung Gi in the center as he incarnated so well the giant that inspires. He  was also extremely nice and funny. In a way, he was a perfect example of what THU is. You’ll find Karla Ortiz, Syd Mead, Andre Luis, Jose Alves da Silva, Shuzo John Shiota as a power ranger and Jorge Gutiérrez as a Luchadores among others…Humble, and humbling people, kind and generous, that don’t take themselves seriously, but who share the same passion for art.

What was the biggest challenge when creating this piece?

This piece was a challenge to me. I wanted to keep the tool to make it as simple as possible so I made it all in procreate, and yet as it is the tenth anniversary of the main event I wanted it to look great. The main challenge was to have a cohesive piece, to maintain the same quality all along the piece, and the other one was to have some degree of likeness in the portraits…

Thank you, Marc!

Get your ticket and join us for THU 2024 (September 30 - October 5) in Tróia, Portugal, and celebrate our "Everlasting" tenth edition.