“Ivo the cubist gorilla of the Berlin Zoo invites you to discover his myriad expressions, from New York to Berlin.

Pacing from corner to corner in his glass cage day after day, Ivo the gorilla of the Berlin Zoo displays a singularly angular silhouette, taking on a cubist form with which Picasso and Georges Braque could surely have identified.

Ivo the cubist gorilla of the Berlin Zoo peers out, his eyes betraying a certain angst. Disheartened by the cheerlessness on the faces he contemplates each day, he dreams of defying zoo rules, opening the door of his cage and transforming himself into glass, paper and metal. He would set off to exhibit his new appearance, from New York to Berlin, to audiences other than zoogoers, all the while seeking to understand what makes humans so discontented.”

Didier Guillon, January 2018

Inspiration in Berlin

Visiting the Berlin Zoo in 2017 with his youngest daughter Valentine, Didier Guillon, President of the Valmont Group and of the Foundation of the same name, fell under the charm of Ivo, the famous gorilla and zoo mascot. As an art connoisseur, Didier Guillon envisioned an alternative destiny for this elegant animal with his angular and resolutely cubist silhouette. He then dreamed up a metamorphosis for Ivo: a series of artistic tributes to portray the quest of a gorilla in pursuit of happiness… the happiness that should brighten the eyes watching him each day, the lost joy of humanity.

Artistic expressions

True to his nature, an exhilarated Didier Guillon set to work to fine-tune his idea. He designed a series of works in various media, in several dimensions, skillfully juxtaposing various materials…

The result is a collection about thirty works, the first series entirely designed and created by Didier Guillon for the Fondation Valmont, in association with a selection of talented artists:

  • Sketches and collages on various types of paper displaying a multitude of visions,
  • Silhouettes created in vinyl, enriched with varied inlays,
  • A bas-relief in Murano glass, a medium Didier Guillon has long championed,
  • Metal sculptures exhibiting numerous choices, working methods and finishes for a constantly renewed aesthetic vision.

The only work by a guest artist is Gorilla and the block, a ronde-bosse statue by Pascal Masi, owned by the Fondation Valmont.


2018 – 2019

New York – 5th-21st October 2018
Address: 393 Broadway Gallery, New-York 10013
Opening hours: 10 am – 6pm

Didier Guillon is not a gorilla!

But there is no doubt that we all have the same ancestors.

This distant kinship, along with a single tear Didier’s daughter Valentine noticed glistening in the corner of Ivo’s eye, was enough to convince him to pay tribute to this captive specimen in the Berlin Zoo.

It clearly invites us to reflect, to create; it offers inspiration for color and design, for painting and sculpture, for steel, glass and paper…

“When art meets beauty,” the slogan dear to La Maison of Valmont and the Fondation Valmont, a heartfelt cry of angst from a man ever in search of modernity and beauty, who now offers us this series conveying “sweet gorilla symmetry.”

Not really all that symmetrical… but for once, enjoy the 800-pound gorilla in the room!

Text : ISAO, artist and Didier Guillon’s friend

The Elegant Symmetry of the Gorilla contest

Three gorillas in procession Sketch 1_3 2018 Didier Guillon Chinese ink 40x30cm


Are you in an artisty mood?

Join our “Gorilla” Facebook contest

1. Like the Fondation Valmont Facebook page:


2. Create your very own gorilla, using Didier Guillon’s template – picture

3. Share the picture of your creation on the Fondation Valmont Facebook page #elegantsymmetrygorilla
The 3 best drawings will win a special gift!

The winners will be announced at the end of the exhibition.

Good luck!

One Drop, charity operation

During the month of October and November 2018, Valmont will give back with One Drop partnership. For every product sold at Saks New York and Spa Valmont Plaza Athénée, Valmont will donate $10 to One Drop

One of Valmont Group’s core values has always been to give back to the community and as access to safe water is one of the main concern on Earth right now, this initiative will be in support of One Drop, an international non-profit organization dedicated to engaging communities to bring sustainable access to safe water.

Created in 2007 by Cirque du Soleil’s founder, Guy Laliberté, their mission is access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene as a transformative force to improve the living conditions of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.  From Latin America to India, One Drop has 13 ongoing projects and an impressive reach of over one million beneficiaries.

Valmont North America has worked with One Drop for the past three years.

Celebration of this parternship

For each Valmont product sold at Saks Fifth Avenue New York and at Spa by Valmont for Plaza Athénée, Valmont will proudly donate $10 to One Drop during October—November 2018.

During the Elegant Symmetry of the Gorilla art exhibition, Valmont will donate 100% sales of the following two artworks part of the Fondation Valmont collection.

Coloured Crystal Gorilla 1 – 1/3, by Didier Guillon and Leonardo Cimollin, 31×23,3×4.9cm, Murano glass – 2 copies – 2500 USD each

ISAO Puzzle Prototype, Didier Guillon, painted wood, 25 cm – 2 copies – 1000 USD each

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