Although painting has been left for dead several times throughout art history, the medium remains alive and well. Herman Mbamba is one of many artists who paint, often with colourful patterns that resemble camouflage or a poetic quilt of organic forms. Although labels such as “abstract” and “nonfigurative” may be applied to his art, that sounds lifeless and boring. Mbamba’s images live and dance. They relate to reality through a wholly different lens than the one we usually use. He himself says that he wants to organize the ensuing chaos by using fixed shapes and extravagant colours on the canvas. Although his paintings do not always tell specific stories, the artist would like them to be able to capture psychological dramas and philosophical questions. Mbamba founded the artist group El Parche with Olga Robayo and Marius Wang after graduating from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He continues to work with other artists, whether through painting, performance, or poetry. GH