The mural 9 Sisters (2020) is based on the Ancient Greek story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses about the Pierides, nine sisters who are turned into magpies for gossiping about the gods. This work shows the birds using painted symbols to tell a variety of stories on a series of panels titled Legend: Vair Triptych (2020). These symbols evoke medieval, contemporary and other associations. Bosmans drew inspiration for this work not only from ancient tales, but also from the Internet, social media, and heraldry—the study of armory design.
The paintings comprising Legend: Vair Triptych draw on the medieval tradition of narrative painting and tapestry—the word “triptych” in the title alludes to the three-panel altarpieces of the period. In heraldry the word “vair” refers to a regular, two-color (often blue and white) pattern on a family crest. Bosmans’ paintings intertwine myths, folktales, and recent events. In one he combines images inspired by the grey exterior of a datacenter in Amsterdam’s Science Park with a small painting of two moths that references the phenomenon of industrial melanism: the increased evolutionary occurrence of dark pigmentation among moths living in industrial environments. Another triptych concerns the modification by humans of naturally occurring colors, by using viruses to manipulate the color of tulip petals, for example, or rubbing plant and animal extracts into the skin of birds to alter the color of their feathers.