Martin Oeggerli is Micronaut. He is a Swiss scientist, creative at heart with a strong drive in what he belives in – and an eye for the small world!
Kissed by Fate
The spirit of Micronaut was born as Martin produced his first series of hand colored Scanning-Electron-Microscopy (SEM) images to illustrate the annual report of a Swiss life sciences company. This happened back in December 2005. Martin instantly fell in love with the fascinating combination of high-tech and creative manual work. It took him a fortnight to decide that he would leave his old life behind – starting to dance between science and art.
After completion of his first assignment, he could not wait to look at pollen and other unique organisms of life that are invisibly small but had already attracted his attention, some since early childhood, and many more throughout his academic career. Two beautiful long-term projects (pollen and insect eggs) evolved from the very first moment. Eventually, both became world famous upon publication in National Geographic magazine (Dec 2009 and Sep 2010, respectively).
Forming the Basis
The seed was planted and it started to grow and spread. After the first two years had passed (2008), the artist received new requests and awards for his work regularly. Eventually, he realized that his passion to explore the microcosm was more than just a hobby. It became his life’s work. He knew he was not alone with his fascination for the small world, since a huge number of bloggers and Micronaut members were following him right from the start. Many of you which are still loyal followers today and Martin truly appreciates it.
Before Martin officially founded his company that was naturally named after his artist’s name ‘Micronaut’ (2008), he made great efforts to define his work-flow, test the limitations of SEM technology and careful optimization of his protocols for scientific Electron-Microscopy (EM) preparation. Throughout his early works, Martin developed a unique post-processing technique and characteristic style. Nothing could stop him from there, not even the worst economical breakdown.
Fascination & Inspiration
With a deep respect of explorers and scientists in the days gone and at present, he finds inspiration in the (scientific) literature, or by browsing online and by his own observations of less small animals, plants and their diverse structures.
Again and again, nature has produced and still produces stunning morphologies down to the smallest detail. And the details matter. A basic fact the artist persues and communicates with all of his works – his love for the invisibly small structure that would otherwise sink and get lost in the richness of shapes. In fact, details are the key to mysteries. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, they are all part of life and existence. What else than collecting, analysing and combining the details helps us to understand “the mystery of all mysteries”, like the prominent founder of evolutionary theory Charles Darwin used to say? In other words – how can we solve the mystery of life?
The Art of Microscopy
Martin has also a passion for materials and the nature and quality of his fine prints reflects it. They are all handmade with impeccable detail and effort. The editions play with experiences and materials. Everything has to fit and he only works with the best. Every piece is 100% Swiss made! Martin has a heart for the acrylic finish. The smooth and clean feeling. The robust and modern look. He believes that high-tech (SEM) technology and modern materials enhance and compliment each other.
Every Micronaut work is creative and unique. Each piece shares Martin’s admiration for the wonderful creatures that inhabit our planet, combined with this ‘the art of microscopy’ - feeling is exactly what Micronaut sets out to capture with his first work. Something that stays true to this day.
Micronaut works are fresh – they surprise with a subtile elegance and high aesthetic. Each piece lets you feel that someone has put a lot of consideration, thought and passion in. Each work draws the attention on spectacular structures which become more visible through the colors, so that the viewer recognizes complexity. Martin goes to great lengths to reproduce the original color. It might take him over a week to colorize one single piece, but it is not so important anyway…
At the very end, all his works highlight invisible mysteries of planet earth. Every detail miraculously painted, thereby inviting you to think – or dream? An unconventional dance between science and art. A brilliant idea.