This time I crossed the galaxy in my spaceship and I landed on another planet, very far and very different from the wintry Switzerland I had left behind. I discover the original world of Nicolas Bamert, aka the Original. A polychromatic world, childishly innocent, where there’s no place for grey and all dreams can become true.
Accessing his studio was like traversing Saturn rings; there were art pieces everywhere, outdoor, indoor, on the floor, covering the walls and the ceiling… I had to fly with caution between that meteor shower!
His fantastic world is divided into 6 continents: duality – originality – gravity – identity – vitality – reality. All of them extended in two hemispheres among which he frequently flies in his rocket (featured in his comic book): Berlin and the Francophone Switzerland (Montreux, Lausanne, Orbe.)
Original is an artist from another world, certainly a happy one. Unlike Aldus Huxley’s “Brave New World” which provides a frightening vision of the future, and express widely held opinions, particularly the fear of losing individual identity in the fast-paced world of the future. Original cultivates through his art a utopian optimist in our times, proposing as an artist, playful installations where he transforms formerly dreary rooms by covering walls and ceiling with his own brand of cheerful wallpaper (hearts, clouds, bananas and similar joyful patterns.) As an author, his Master Original’s comic is full of hope too. It is impossible not to be touched by its positive message. Who hasn’t dream about quitting a boring job to pursue creative inspiration and the craziest dreams? His message is a nice reminder to the urgency to see life in pink, to follow our dreams, believe in ourselves, and to dare to achieve what makes us happy and better persons. This is a dimension where we all want to spend some time, on holidays or even permanently. I think I’ve already settled a second residence up there!
He navigated through each page of his comic book with me, to explain me this kind of biographical story, in which after several years of learning and working into the engineering industry, Nicolas Bamert cannot keep to himself his needs to create. The original (Nicolas’s artist doppelganger) convince him to make the big jump, quitting his job for focusing in his art project. On his way he met the French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle and the Swiss kinetic artist Jean Tinguely at the Jardin des Tarots in Tuscany. The Original world became a wonderful universe, which let him express himself freely. His fears, his revolts and his hopes are transmitted in this artistic world. It’s a recommended book for all ages, which you can get rather in French or English.
He also showed me his burning painting technique. A painting made up of several thousand matches, which is fired to get an image created by the shadows of the resulting smoke. He participated in the Burning Painting Performance at the Montreux Art Gallery in 2016, with his Identity project.
He has exhibited his art at the Zwahlen art gallery in Orbe, with a tribute to Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. Recently he has proudly been engaged to decorate an area of Aquatis, the largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium of Europe in Lausanne.
Walking around his studio I found a heart, as I use to do, and I felt at home. Then he offers to me his last calendar, with a picture of one of his installations, a room full of hearts. I left the studio with a smile on my face. I spent a vacation in a distant colourful and happy galaxy, where I could take refuge from the mundane and monochromatic reality anytime.
I keep in my mind his words: « Art cannot be explained by 5 sentences but by 5 words. If not, it’s going to take all the life. In 5 words, it’s like this: without art, I am nothing.»
A life without art is like a black hole. That could be an even frightening vision of the future than Huxley’s. Because the art defines who we are and will always provide an account of our history for the next generations. A life without art is in reality not a life at all.
Now fasten your seat-belts and take off to Original’s psychedelic universe here: