The official Paris 2024 posters by French artist Ugo Gattoni. GETTY IMAGES

A "surrealist" and "overflowing" diptych, the poster for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Musée d'Orsay on Monday, before being displayed in various locations around the French capital this week. 

Designed by illustrator Ugo Gattoni, the poster took nearly 2,000 hours to create. It was unveiled at the Musée d'Orsay, one of the most important art galleries in Paris. "I was locked in my workshop for four months, working day and night. It's a poster that should still work in 100 years' time," says Ugo Gattoni.

Since 1912, each edition of the Olympic Games has had a unique poster, and now for this 33rd edition it is a diptych. It has an Olympic aspect and a Paralympic aspect. The poster shows the Eiffel Tower integrated into the Stade de France, a wheelchair tennis court on the roof of the Arc de Triomphe and, in the foreground, a diver looking out over the Seine.

Gattoni, who designs scarves for Hermès, sprayed his Olympic poster with a "flying" pink material that "multiplies": his trademark, which he calls "bump" and uses in all his drawings. The artist, who studied swimming and wanted to be a professional swimmer, signed his first fresco after leaving art school, a 10-metre-long drawing done with a Rotring pen.

"I wanted something epic, grandiose, but also a feeling of joyful celebration, busy, overloaded. A surrealist approach that tries to keep a lot of poetry and humour," explained Gattoni during a press conference before the official presentation of his work.

All this is complemented by images of thousands of small "handmade" and "artisanal" figures, explained Joachim Roncin, the design director within the Olympic Games organising committee, at a time when artificial intelligence is generating images and designs. 

The gardens of Versailles are in front of the Eiffel Tower, and eight mascots, the Phrygians, are hidden in the busy composition, which does not include a French flag, although the Paris 2024 logo is visible. There are also references to Marseille and Tahiti, which will host the sailing and surfing events respectively.

"It was important for Paris 2024 to stand out from what is usually seen on official posters. We are delighted to have succeeded in combining aesthetics with meaning. Here we find the symbols of Paris 2024, together with references to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but also to Paris and France," said Tony Estanguet, President of the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Their rich and colourful universe allows us to embody all the richness of our project. A true fresco of sport in the city, these posters are also an ode to our motto: 'Let's open the Games wide open'. They tell the story of our Games, a story that is festive, moving, universal and that speaks to every one of us," concluded Toni Estanguet.

The official poster for the Olympic Games (26 July - 11 August) and Paralympic Games (28 August - 8 September) will be available either in its original format or through derivative products such as puzzles or a colouring version.