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Bart Nijstad: Of Colours & Noncolours

A Parallel Planets piece by theisolationcabin
Spend only a few moments on Barj Nijstad’s website and you'll come up with two questions that would be unfair to ask him: “To colour or not to colour?” and “Real or not real?”

Bart dabbles in both depictions of reality and dreamlike structures laid out in both colour-laden and black-and-white palettes. At times, he even puts them altogether, creating quite impressive collages. The portfolio on his website, which features his range as an artist, from comics to commissions to exhibiting and to his ordinary blog updates – is a testament to how well he puts his skills to his advantage.

This is why upon visiting Bart’s page, it would be easy to get distracted… because you wouldn’t know where to look first.

On one hand, the colourful visuals of his projects, such as the “Biesbosch,” an assignment he did for the National Historic Museum in his hometown, the Netherlands, and “Scuffle,” an autobiography about a young man wrestling with himself and the world around him, are simply attention-grabbing.

On the other, his monochromatic graphic novel, “Mosquitoes,” which tells the story of a small town at the brink of the apocalypse, is a scene stealer as well.

Then there’s his blog section, which spews of his everyday art and the processes they undergo, with an archive tracing back to 2008. A lot of pieces to appreciate and study, a myriad of meanings to discover. 

A thing that may affect universal reception of Bart’s art, though: the accompanying texts in his art are usually in Dutch. But looking closely, readers would find that his drawings transitions slowly but smoothly and surely. Lots of the images speak for themselves, leaving the essence of the story intact even without text. 

Colourful or in monochrome, what matters is that Bart Nijstad's art lives to tell his stories.


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