A Rock’n Roll Machine: Nils Bertho & Adolf Hibou

ADOLF HIBOU : Gaël Magnieux, Bruno Ducret & Nils Bertho. Photo by Arbre Payday (2021)

Here is the occasion to discover Bertho’s monstrous bestiary, his hybrid world in which he enjoys playing with a confusing humour.

Based in Montpellier, France, Nils Bertho is a young artist exploring the confines of artistic expression around drawing, painting, comics, illustration, collage and music.

Nils Bertho’s paintings and illustrations are packed with information: each piece created by the artist simoultaneously display different plots, references and characters. Although both expressive and spontaneous, the work pays great attention to detail and the spaces of each work are meticulously worked. Thematically we see a universe populated by fabulous beings, with equal doses of tenderness and repellency, if we look more carefully these creatures are in the middle of some dialogue, an adventure. Different interactions seem to be happening simultaneously and intertwining. In the referential field of Nils, television characters and mythological figures occupy the same space of alchemical energy, after all the electronic monsters of today come to fulfill the same expectations and emotional effects that the gargoyles, the dragons or the mermaids played at their respective genesis and time. In addition to addressing a wide iconographic universe, Nils Bertho expands his vision to different supports and media. For example the “Passion Cheval” series, where the artist plays with the Dada principle of embarrasment: posters and printed images of horses are covered with paint, word games and clichéd thoughts reinforcing its own absurdity. Music also occupies a significant place in the world of Nils Bertho. Adolf Hibou, formed along other individuals is noise emsemble described by the artist himself as “a noise punk powerful tender and brutal boys-band”. In the following conversation the artist tells us about his beginnings, interests and A.H.

Resource : Leonardo Casas / TINYSTAR Nº2 oct 2020

Nils Bertho ‘Mascotte Celebration Futur Trepas’ ink on paper, 2016
Nils Bertho ‘Yokai Arena’ 2021

In his drawing work, representing his own themes and obsessions. The artist shows us in different sizes and supports various things, switching from a style to another through graphic improvisations with meticulous and mastered lines with the finest Rotring pen or big felt pen that stains. The pleasure of surprising leads Nils Bertho, and for him, artworks bring about pure emotions. Punk, underground comics, raw art, cinema bis, all in reference to bad taste make the net of his own universe. Here is the occasion to discover his monstrous bestiary, his hybrid world in which he enjoys playing with a confusing humour.

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Nils Bertho, ink on paper, 2016

Genç Fransız sanatçı Nils Bertho, Güney Fransa’da, Montpellier’de işlettiği galeri Le Mat’ın yanı sıra Rifuel-Fanglant dergisinin de yaratıcısıdır. Bertho aynı zamanda şarkı söylüyor, erkeklerden oluşan gürültülü rock’n roll grubu Adolf Hibou‘nın bir parçası olarak performanslar sergiliyor ve farklı sanatsal disiplinlerde aktif. Bertho, çizimlerinde kendi temalarının ve saplantılarının peşinden gidiyor. Sanatçı, bizlere farklı ebatlarda eserler sunuyor ve farklı sanatsal disiplinlerle ilgileniyor. Grafik doğaçlamalar üzerinden Rotring kalemlerle ya da fırçayla yarattığı dikkatli ve ustalıklı çizgilerle stilden stile geçen Bertho’yu, izleyicileri şaşırtma güdüsü yönlendiriyor ve Bertho için sanat, saf duyguların aktarımı anlamına geliyor. Punk müzik, yeraltı çizgi romanları, ham sanat, cinema bis, her kanaldan ‘kötü zevk’e referansta bulunarak Bertho’nun kişisel evreninin yekününü oluşturuyor.

ADOLF HIBOU “Roum Roum Ah” 2021

Meetings with other artists who have chosen the same way since we often speak the same language and collaborations are a way to meet and share our passion.

Drawing the Rock’n Roll

TINYSTAR: How did you get involved into the arts? Could you describe a little the context where you created your first pieces?

NILS BERTHO: I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, from what I remember I always kept in mind that I wanted to do this. There are a lot of things to discover in this world and sometimes it’s strange to think that I follow my way just drawing all night long in a cave, but to be a cave draftman it’s basically the thing that makes me the happiest. My father was a scenographer and my brother was interested in comics, graffitti and 3D, it probably played a role. My passage through the School of Fine Arts confirmed this feeling that I wanted to live from my passion. That’s where I created my first pieces which were spotted and exhibited by galleries and I exhibited in France and abroad. When I got my diploma and I opened a gallery-concert space: “Le Mat”, that’s where I started in this way.

At your website there are so many art pieces displayed. You put a lot of attention to detail and there are many references to pop culture and current affairs can be seen besides I have seen videos, performances, How do you describe your artistic process?

I work essentially on feeling in everything I do and I chose to go in all directions, all at the service of a creative energy and drawing is the backbone in all that.

How do you define “underground art” in these days?

I think it will always be defined by the concept of DIY.

How important to you is the collaborative creation process?

Fanzine art, silkscreen printing, illustration or punk rock are not the easiest ways to earn money, but living from what you love remains a luxury for me and one of the positive points of this life is the meetings with other artists who have chosen the same way since we often speak the same language and collaborations are a way to meet and share our passion.

Is there any particular artist that deserves your attention these days?

Yes a lot. I particularly admire the compulsive artists whose profusion of practice is steadily like the French artist Stephane Blanquet or the Japanese Shintaro Kago and I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the work of Daniel Johnston who died this year.

Tell us about the witchcraft tutorials codex

“Les Tutos Sorcellerie, Le Codex” (witchcraft tutorials, the codex) is a project started last year. The starting idea is to create drawings “with 2 hands” in collaboration with cartoonists and artists that I like, some known, some not, some are also friends. The goal is to develop an artistic collaboration and a meeting around the esoteric theme. The codex compiles 66 artists: 66 collaborations: 66 pages. The book will take the form of a large ancient grimoire, beautiful paper, a leather cover… It will be released in January 2021 edited by Sarah Fisthole and Le Mat.


ADOLF HIBOU – “Indochine j’ai demandé halal” (Official Music Video) 2022
AxHx photo : Arbre Payday

From Jazz to Noise

With Bertho : ADOLF HIBOU

TINYSTAR: What about Adolf Hibou, how long you been playing? Who are the band members?

I scream in Rock bands since I’m 20. With the guitar player Bruno Ducret, we’ve been playing together for ten years now, in various bands, but Adolf Hibou as it is with the drummer Maël Gagnieux exists since 2014.

Describe Adolf Hibou musical approach? How many recordings do you have?

Adolf Hibou is a noise punk powerful tender and brutal boys-band We’ve put out our first joke album in 2015, entitled “Deep inside your eyes”, with Linge records. Some of it can still be found on Youtube, and the label’s page, but all that’s left of it are mainly jokes. After that we made à 3 track LP with Ascèce Records in 2018 called “Satan II”, that is still available on tapes and vinyls. The first real Adolf Hibou’s record “Princess Barely Legal” will be out next fall, thanks to Head Records. It will be about 12 tracks long, with a few jokes left in it. Videoclips are on the way too!

Is there any concept of the band linked to your artistic approach? If any would explain it?

In the end, this band is a merger between our 3 different universes. We mostly want to play loud walls of sound, and have a whole lotta fun. We all met in fine arts school, this band’s identity is thought through as an artistical concept that unites all of our savoir-faire and medium: Bruno has a lot of bands, maybe 15.. from jazz to grindcore.

Maël is a contemporary performer, a video editor and a musician in traditional music ( Medieval and Cajun) and me, I have absolutely no musical education, but who cares. For the band it kind of works, Bruno takes care of sound, band practice and logistics, Maël takes care of vidéo clips and trailers, and I’m in charge of booking and visual identity. And with all of this organisation, we still manage to fuck up everything we do.

ADOLF HIBOU – “Dreamland” (Official Music Video) 2021
Black Hawk Bertho !!


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