Ernesto Gualle (Alangasí, 1960), resident of an Ecuadorian village rich in surviving folklore, tried at some points in his career as a painter to capture scenes from those picturesque ceremonies and almost Faustian dances. He was able to create paintings that relive those festive hours of the populace. But he remained within the limits of figurative art, trying to go beyond the limitations of the drawings of someone without experience of the academy. He conquered many of those limitations and his vision of folklore was precise and alive with color. As a result, the artist began throwing himself into the other world, that which, since the beginning of his career, had moved his painting: the natural world. And in the natural world, he was ever more seduced by the forest, where, in his condition as a naïf artist – or almost naïf – he was fascinated like a child with a toy, a toy rich in unsuspected possibilities of games and fantasies.
In the long account of painting forest scenes, Gualle attempted to offer his spectators special attractions: friendly clearings, rivers, mysterious lakes, exotic birds. But suddenly, he appeared to need none of those things and created works in which everything was consumed in pure forest vegetation: trunks, leaves, vines.
It was, without a doubt, a gesture of new maturity. He had reached the heart of the Ecuadorian forest with all that nature has to offer in visual beauty: chromatics that the artist himself would only have woven together with difficulty – such as leaves in blue and other unusual colors – colorful compositions, filtered lights, humid and swollen with silent life and rhythms. And how much rich and free rhythm, precisely like in each piece of forest!