Boris: A Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man

A rare invitation into Boris Vansier’s attic reveals a seventy year archive of paintings, the life’s work of a noted artist whose career has been as prolific as it has been provocative.


Trailer, 2018


Swiss painter Boris Vansier reflects on seven decades of artistic practice through a series of interviews intercut with vibrant flashes of his fifteen hundred plus paintings. Vansier’s commentary lifts the veil off the word “artist,” a term long associated with a series of tired clichés. Boris also raises broader questions about the way “critics decide” how to categorize an artist while enforcing divides between styles and eras, such as the one drawn between modern and contemporary art. Instead, Boris speaks about art-making as an act of “presence,” something that can be found in every person. Boris is a refreshing reminder of the powerful simplicity of the artistic experience, both as an artist and as a viewer, stating:

“In any true painting, somebody will recognize himself” (Vansier, 2016).