Born 1968, Sydney
Bernard Vartuli’s Italian parents migrated to Australia in the 1950s. His childhood interest was building and flying model planes, sometimes of his own design. He would try to copy the masters from the painting section of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. One of his favourite paintings was El Greco’s View Of Toledo.
Vartuli studied science at university and majored in mathematics. He began learning to fly a light aircraft. Eventually he worked in aviation as an aircraft mechanic in regional Australia, mainly on crop sprayers and light aircraft. Around the age of thirty Vartuli began to have an identity crisis, desiring creativity. He studied visual art for the next two years. In this time he explored mainly drawing, painting and sculpture. Though he wanted to be an artist he fell ill with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a serious auto-immune disease at the end of the second year. The illness almost totally paralysed him for a period in hospital. When Vartuli recovered he began having metaphysical experiences and started keeping a drawing and poetry journal.
He began to paint again in hospital, fortunately finding art materials on the ward. Vartuli mainly paints abstractly with colour, and designs inventions.
Left and right freedoms (plan) 2011; graphite, gouache on paper; 44 x 55cm; Courtesy Masson-Talansier Collection
Forest-cooled tower 2011; ink on paper; 42 x 49cm; Courtesy Masson-Talansier Collection
Left and right freedoms (model) 2011; wood, paper, acrylic paint; 52 x 47cm; Courtesy Masson-Talansier Collection
Towers 2011; acrylic on canvas; 92.5 x 77.3cm; Courtesy of the artist