Bologna Children BookFair | 2020 Exhibitions
Jean Mallard and the BCBF Visual Identity Workshop 2021

The Art of Jean Mallard

The phantasmagorical world of the young French illustrator who created, with Chialab Studio, the BCBF Visual Identity 2021.

For the fifth BCBF Visual Identity Workshop, Chialab studio and the BCBF’s choice almost naturally fell on this young French illustrator, who already has a long history with the Bologna event.

Selected for the 2018 Illustrators Exhibition when still studying at ENSAD (L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris, that same year Jean Mallard won the Ars In Fabula Grant Award, a scholarship for a Master of Illustration for Publishing, funded by Ars in Fabula, in partnership with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. After his study year in Italy, Mallard was once again selected for the 2020 Illustrators Exhibition. In 2021, he published his master’s thesis project, the Corsa Degli Animali, developed with publisher Camelozampa; his most recent project, Quel Bonheur, is being published by Editions Motus. 

Jean Mallard was selected as young author for Visual Identity 2021 because his art features elements that dovetail with the anomalous situation of the first lockdown. As you will discover through his panels at the exhibition, he interprets the difficulties through close attention to detail, allied to an overall vision in his construction of fantastical worlds and complex relationships between environments and individuals.

Under Chialab’s guidance, the BCBF image represents a fantastical, multiform, immaterial and heterogeneous ecosystem, one in which, through their interactions, individual identities work together to build new environments and forms, integrating with and complementing one another. The emphasis is firmly on relationships, connections, and exchanges, foreshadowing the challenges the BCBF will face in the post-pandemic years. 

Jean Mallard’s approach signposts a way forward, allowing us to delve into relational constructions that, as part of a fertile and symbiotic system, facilitate welcoming and sharing. 

The exhibition is divided into two fascinating sections: the first presents the Art of Jean Mallard through various projects developed by him; the second invites the visitor to discover the creative process that led to the creation of the Visual Identity 2021.