La Foresta is changing with every season as the real forest does. Every new spring, summer, autumn and winter it celebrates changing seasons of nature and of our lives. As snow melts away, as buds turn into leaves, as leaves start to change colour, as they fly away with the wind, as new buds are born - at the turn of each season we invite a different artist to create a portrait of la Foresta in summer, autumn, spring or winter. Each creator's image will represent la Foresta online for three months and later will become part of the permanent Museum of Seasons. During these three months Visual Strolls becomes an online gallery, a visual viewing room, exhibiting the work of the invited artist. 

We are interested in a larger context of art and creativity in society, in looking at these in a broader sense, as forces that change our state of attention. That’s why we started Visual Strolls. We want to invite you to join us and never stop looking at the world from new perspectives, as it unfolds around and inside of us, as one state of being is continuously being replaced by another. We love contemplating the world anew through the eyes of the artists. To continue reading our reflections on arts entering life click here.

WINTER this year is brought to la Foresta by Diego Mallo, a visual artist and illustrator based in Barcelona. Diego’s work is a celebration of visual poetry, experimentation and interdisciplinary influences. Whether in his illustrations, book covers or artworks you are sure to frequently find attentive captures of expressiveness of human gesture, ironic observations of everyday life, or tender meeting between inner and outer worlds. Feel invited to stroll through a forest of Diego’s studio below, in words and images, in encounters between first ideas, inspirations, surprises and some final works.

La Foresta Portrait by Diego Mallo: Winter

Diego Mallo
Mi foresta

Pienso la foresta como un espacio de calma, de cobijo, de contemplación. Pienso un espacio fértil para habitar o transitar, pero también un espacio inabarcable, salvaje y desconocido. Mi taller es un bosque, un lugar donde lo imprevisto es posible, donde el encuentro, la sorpresa y la relación entre los elementos es tan, o más, importante que las cosas en sí.

Cuando visito un bosque, me interesan los árboles, las hojas, la hierba,... pero me interesan, quizás aún más, la luz, el detalle, las texturas y escalas o la perspectiva. Siempre regreso con algo que me ha sido imposible dejar: pueden ser hojas, ramitas, cortezas o semillas. Son pequeñas cosas cuyo destino en su hábitat sería convertirse en sustrato. Para mí son texturas, colores, formas perfectas y fascinantes que acaban formando un sustrato formal y simbólico en mi, y ahora, en mi estudio.

Mi foresta está habitada sobre todo por hojas, de papel, que se amontonan o que caen al suelo, pero a veces hacen el camino inverso. Pasan de la mesa a la pared, o acaban suspendidas en hilos. Se agrupan de manera caprichosa y casi siempre en equilibro.

He hecho fotos de mis trabajos en su “entorno natural”: mi estudio. Estas fotografías tienen un impulso parecido al que tengo cuando fotografío o contemplo la naturaleza. Muestran algunos trabajos acabados pero, sobre todo, múltiples dibujitos o recortes que hago por divertimento y que cuelgo por las paredes o acumulo para proyectos futuros. Son imágenes nacidas de restos de papeles y fragmentos de personajes rescatados de sesiones de monotipia o de proyectos diversos. Este proceso de reutilización nace del caos en el estudio y es la materia prima de búsquedas y encuentros creativos.
— Diego Mallo
My forest

I think of the forest as a space of calm, of shelter, of contemplation. I think of it as a fertile space to inhabit or transit, but also as an unembraceable, wild and unknown. My studio is a forest, a place where the unexpected is possible, where the encounter, the surprise and the relationship between the elements is as, or more, important than the things themselves.

When I visit a forest, I am interested in trees, leaves, grass,... but I am also interested, perhaps even more, in light, detail, textures and scales or perspective. I always come back with something that has been impossible for me to leave: can be leaves, twigs, bark or seeds. Those small things whose destiny in their habitat would be to become substrate. For me they are textures, colours, perfect and fascinating forms that end up forming a formal and symbolic substratum in me, and now, in my studio.

My forest is inhabited above all by sheets of paper, which pile up or fall to the ground, but sometimes make the opposite path. They pass from the table to the wall, or end up suspended in threads. They group together capriciously and almost always in equilibrium.

I have taken photos of my works in their “natural environment”: my studio. These photographs have an impulse similar to the one I have when I photograph or contemplate nature. They show some finished works but, above all, multiple drawings and cut-outs that I do for fun and that I hang on the walls, or accumulate for future projects. They are images born of paper left-overs and fragments of characters rescued from monotype sessions or other projects. This process of reuse is born from the chaos in the studio and is the raw material for searches and creative encounters.
— Diego Mallo

Cover image by Diego Mallo