The Finkelstein Files: The Fine Art of Investment!

Wondering how to maximise your tax return for your business and feel like you’ve come out somehow on top?! With Australia’s tax breaks available to businesses which turnover under $10 million annually, owning your own art collection has never been so simple.

Michael Fox, a leading Melbourne tax accountant specialising in the arts explains, “The rules changed about two years ago regarding buying art for your business,” explains Michael Fox. “Today in Australia it is much easier to gain tax breaks for buying works of under $20,000 than it ever was before,” he says. Fox who helps people with their tax every day says one of the big loopholes people can exploit, is the “Turnbull’s Tradies” – a Small Business raft of tax measures, which allows small businesses to claim their expenses up to $20,000. “If you have an ABN, then under the small business act you can claim the entire sum of that purchase up to the tune of $20,000 each; A small business meaning turnover of less than $10 million dollars annually.

“This rule means you can buy as many individual art works as you like worth just under $20,000 each and claim them as a legitimate business expense. For example if you wanted you could buy five artworks for $19,990 each and claim a tax write-off of close to $100,000 by buying those 5 works. “I don’t think the government really intended it to be a tax break for the arts industry. At the time it was introduced so that tradespeople could claim the expense of a utility vehicle. “It is not that widely understood,” Fox says.

 

Above: Painting by Wilson Lin, Spatiality, 2017, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, $ 5,500. Sculpture by Jane Valentine, Harmonic Lines III, 2007, Marble on Granite base, 48 (dia) x 25 (d) x 90(h) cm, P.O.A

 

Above: Wilson Lin working on his Fractal series in studio, Melbourne, Australia.

 


Above: Wilson Lin, A Glimmering Sheet, 2018, Fractal series, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, $5,500

 

Thierry B Fine Art showcases the Abstract paintings and sculpture from over a dozen Australian artists. Master painter and designer, Thierry B, will also scope your home or business space and recommend the ideal proportions. The South Yarra-based state-of-the-art gallery, Thierry B Fine Art provides a turn-key solution for our valued clients – where guesswork has been eliminated for you.

With prices starting from $2,500 upto $55,000, paintings are given the royal treatment proudly sporting a custom-made frame, complimentary nation-wide delivery & installation.

Above: Master Abstract Expressionist painter Thierry B. pictured in his Huntingdale studio, Melbourne, Australia.

 

Above: Thierry B., Contrast, 2017, Groove Series, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 183cm, Corporate collection, Craigieburn Victoria.


Above: Patricia Heaslip, Landlines, 2015, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm, $15,000

 

Above: Michelle Breton, Trompette au Soleil, 2017, Mixed Media on Canvas, 153 x 137cm, $9,900

 

Gallery Manager and art curator, Vicki Finkelstein explains, “that while some people might be intimidated by going to a gallery and asking prices, new collectors should never be scared to talk about the budget they have in mind for buying art. “We can guide people to incredibly collectible museum quality work for under $20,000. We often work to very tight briefs for offices, homes and new collectors. Interior designers and architects for example will always come to us with a budget in mind, so we’re accustomed to taking clients through our stockroom to find the right work,” Finkelstein says.

 

Above: Thierry B. Dreamscape Series, Suddenly Clare, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 183 x 300cm, custom-framed in water-gilded, 18-carat gold, P.O.A

 

Above: Thierry B. La Vie En Rose, 2018, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 152 x 122cm, custom-framed in water-gilded, 18-carat gold, $15,000

 

Are you developing a corporate culture in your business? Are you running a business in a cut throat industry? Wanting to attract great clients and retain incredible staff? Then buy art. Not only will you claim the expense of making your office look cool, but if you are in charge, at the top end of town, you can curate a serious corporate collection.

Once you amass a cool art collection you can tour the work or open it to the public. At the top end of town the ultimate, is when these companies appoint someone as a curator and actually put together a decent collection. Then those sorts of exhibitions can go touring around the country. Granted with the name of the company attached, but still, it’s a form or a good will and very clever marketing.

 

Above: Richard Lewer, Untitled #27 (Tax Time Again), 2016, Langridge pigmented ink on sandpaper, 28cm by 23cm. Collection of Michael Fox Arts Accountant & Valuer.

Overseas this is common practice. Here in Australia companies like Wesfarmers, BresicWhitney, Allens and SBS all have great corporate collections the public can visit. Collecting art for your company isn’t just about tax savings or marketing. There have been several studies that show people who work in environments with nice artwork tend to be more productive.

Resident Curator at Allens Linklaters Maria Poulos can concur. Their collection was formed under the direction of Hugh Jamieson, a former partner at Allens, who left a legacy of 900 modern paintings. When he retired in 1995 he left behind a collection that has become central to the company’s vision and values, a collection that has continued to expand.

“The Collection represents an important part of Allens’ corporate identity and its connection to a much wider cultural world. In another sense, it’s a sign of good citizenship and creates a ‘civilised workplace’,” Poulos explains.

 


Above: Painting by Tim Blashki, Container/Contained, 2013, Acrylic on Board, 100 x 540cm, $20,000. Sculpture by Jane Valentine, Shielding II, 2014, Stauario Marble on granite base, 100 (h) x 90 (w) x 25 (d)cm, P.O.A

Above: Sculpture by Jane Valentine, Shielding II, 2014, Stauario Marble on granite base, 100 (h) x 90 (w) x 25 (d)cm, P.O.A

 

Today, corporate collections are generally no longer seen simply as a way of decorating a company’s foyer, boardroom or offices. Instead, they are seen as a marketing tool that assists in defining a corporation’s brand or reputation. Many of the organisations that focus on collecting contemporary art are in competitive industries where it is necessary to project an image of being a forward thinking, dynamic and progressive market leader in order to attract the best staff and clients.

Above: Michael Whitehead, diptych, Outcrop & Plateau, 2018, Mixed Media on Linen, 180 x 140cm, Corporate collection, South Yarra, Australia.

 

Shannan Whitney who is the CEO and Founder of BresicWhitney has watched his corporate collection grow considerably since he purchased a Bill Henson for his office back in 2003. “Art was introduced consciously quite early on. It was an important mechanism to connect customers with our brand within a physical space. It was also a nice connection piece for our staff,” Whitney says. Today he points out, that in all four of his offices, art plays a strong, but silent role.

“Firstly it’s unexpected which is great. Secondly like all art is supposed to do, it prompts a response and reaction, which is valuable and finally I think it has been an effective in helping people connect our brand with our vision,” he says. Maria Poulos echoes this sentiment at Allens, sighting the impact on staff as ‘positive’. “Lawyers often comment on the art as a great conversation starter with new clients – a handy way to break the ice. Even if someone remarks unfavourably, ‘How can you put up with that?’, art has stimulated discussion and a different way of looking at things,” she says.


Thierry B Fine Art is located at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.

Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm or by appointment: 0404861438.

 

Advertisements

Thierry B Fine Art: The Shape of Things To Come

Above: Jane Valentine’s studio away from home: Studio Nicola Stagetti in Pietrasanta, Tuscany.

Sculptor Jane Valentine, is an artist working in a revered art form, crafting the marble of Michelangelo and the inspiration of ancient Egypt and Renaissance Italy into a 21st-century statement. Valentine is brightly blonde and seductively ebullient. One of Australia’s pre-eminent – and rare – marble sculptors, her personal stash of marble blocks are agisted in a field on the edge of Sydney. She works on the other side of the world: most usually in the Italian village of Pietrasanta, where Michelangelo sourced his marble; sometimes in Xiamen, in the south-east of China; most recently in Cairo. During her time on Northern Italy, at the base of the Carrara Mountains, the sculpting village of Pietrasanta she continues to explore a strong and individual style of art making. Valentine’s marble forms survey classical simplicity and the purity of form. Much like the later works of Romanian sculptor, Constantin Brancusi, her structures and vessels are abstracted and embrace various aspects of the natural world. Her aesthetic resonates with the essential elements of sculpture and its traditions to reveal the clarity of the material and its form.

valentine-shielded

Above: Shielding, I, II , III.

One of the earliest art forms, sculpture still carries the imprint of artisan knowledge passed down through centuries. Yet while Valentine’s practice honours and continues many traditional methods, she is very much a 21st-century practitioner, excited by technology and operating globally, sourcing her materials, her working spaces and conversations all over the world. “I work with whatever technology I can take; and I work some pieces just by hand. That’s amazing – and even more beautiful when you’re working more intuitively and you don’t know what the end product is going to be.” Now, she says, working like that is “something that I give myself as a gift”. “Part of my artistic practice tries to get to the essence of things and that’s often a pure, fragile, feminine essence.” A contradiction to the sense of solidity and grandeur often associated with marble? “Yes, and with marble you have a sense of immortality, too – a memorial aspect. To get to an essence, to immortalise it, that’s essentially what I’m doing. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition.”

 

Above: Shielding, I, II, III – in situ at Thierry B Fine Art.

Always confident she’d be an artist – “it was the only thing I was good at, at school” – Valentine majored in painting at the Sydney College of the Arts. On graduation, she won a
scholarship to Florence, only to find herself overwhelmed trying to work in “this ancient, culturally rich city”. The epiphany came on an excursion to Pietrasanta: Valentine saw a girl working in one of the studios and knew instantly what she wanted to do next. “The first time I worked with marble was like watching black-and-white television turn into colour,” she says. Valentine never painted again. “The technique I use is subtractive: give 30 students a block of clay, 28 will put little pieces of it together to assemble a shape – only a couple will start subtracting pieces of the clay to find something. That’s working in negative space and I found that language very intuitive. It was the first time I calmed down. Sculpting is very meditative and I’m very lively, always thinking 20, 30 different things. Sculpture lets me have that thinking space, and all those ideas, but it lets me quieten my voice and get to the essence of what I’m trying to say.”

Above: Harmonic Lines, 2007.

Contemporaries Valentine finds admirable, inspiring, include “Anish Kapoor, of course, Isamu Noguchi, Peter Randall-Page, Antony Gormley – people you return to just for the simplicity of falling in love with their work.” Then there are women such as the late Louise Bourgeois and Australian artists such as Marea Gazzard and Inge King. “They arose within their media within such a difficult age of being.” Inge King was a rare woman in a predominantly male field of heavy sculpture, with many paying tribute to King’s contribution to the arts in Australia as “unquestionably significant”. If she didn’t have the correct tools for her work, she’d make them, if she didn’t know how to do something, she’d figure it out. Undiminished by age almost to the end, King worked actively until she was 98 years old. So too, Valentine is carving her own niche with each international commission she garners.

img_0909

There’s a famous Michelangelo quote about the statue concealed in each block of stone and the sculptor’s task of revealing it. In Valentine’s concentration as she listens – leaning in to catch anything obscured beneath the stones of a conversation’s words – you sense the focus with which she seeks out her marble and its internal potential. “It’s better to go when it’s just been raining and there’s early morning light,” she says of these excursions. “You have to tap it – when you tap marble, it sings, so you’re looking for the appropriate pitch.” It’s a sensual step in a very physical process: work with marble is work of heft, with cranes and grinders, tractors and hoists. The tallest of the exquisite teardrops Valentine made for Victoria’s Chadstone Shopping Centre is three metres high – and the hunt for their stone took six solid weeks. All of which creates its own economies of scale: the crafting of a maquette might take six weeks – “although that includes the time you are thinking about it while you’re peeling the potatoes” – a work the size of the Chadstone piece, Origins, required a year from start to finish. Then there is the cost of the raw materials she uses: a marble block can cost her as much as $40,000.Origins, is displayed in the western entrance of Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne. Weighing just under 30 tonnes, it is Australia’s biggest marble sculpture in a public space and is viewed by 15 million people annually.

000002340_0

Valentine spent eight years in Pietrasanta – a long apprenticeship, she concedes, but one she couldn’t have undertaken anywhere else. “It’s a melting pot of artists from all round the world, from very significant artists to people working on their first pieces. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of ideas and cultures. After work, you’d go to the bar, have a coffee or a glass of wine, covered in marble dust, then you’d eat together – people from five or six different countries, maybe a writer or a dancer. It’s the only place I’ve ever found like that.”

 

Born in Sydney, NSW, Jane Valentine completed a Diploma of Visual Arts from Seaforth TAFE in 1988 followed by a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts in 1990. In 1992 she was granted a scholarship to Florence, Italy for her Honours year at the Studio Art Centre International. At the completion of her studies Valentine moved to the sculpting village of Pietrasanta, at the base of the Carrarra Mountains, Northern Italy where she lived for the next seven years. Valentine is based in Sydney and continues to work in Pietrasanta, Italy and Cairo, Egypt.

Valentine has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and in Italy. She has received several commissions for her work including three major Statuaria marble works for Chadstone Shopping Centre in 2009. Jane Valentine represented Australia at the 1999 International Sculpture Symposium in Changchun, China and her work is on permanent display at the Changchun International Sculpture Park.

Jane Valentine’s work is represented in several public and corporate collections including The Art Trust, the Gandel Collection, 151 Macquarie Street, Morgan Stanley Chifley Tower, Sydney, the Retail Employers Superannuation Trust, and in private collections nationally and internationally.

Thierry B Fine Art is proud to present Harmonic Lines & Shielding I, II & III by Jane Valentine (pictured at top)located at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra 3141. Gallery hours are: Monday – Saturday 11am-5pm  & Sunday  12pm-5pm or by appointment.

 

Contents fragile – Hague’s Trojan Hammer

hague-24
Mr. Robert Hague had newly arrived to live in Sydney via Rotorua, New Zealand and I had the pleasure of curating his first exhibition based in Melbourne at Australian Art Resources with Axia Modern Art.
HAGUE-1
Trojan Hammer (Cloth)
Trojan Hammer (cloth)
2012, hand printed lithograph on cotton rag paper, 40 x 58cm
Trial Proof on white paper.
The Trojan Hammer is a growing series of lithographic prints by internationally acclaimed artist, sculptor and printmaker, Robert Hague. By returning to an art-form that he deeply loves, Hague is inspired by the metaphorical image of the hammer, a tool of both creation and destruction.
hague-21
“Hague’s variations on his theme describe a seemingly never-ending adaptation. In Trojan Hammer (violin) he strings his hammer and adorns it with a hand-carved scroll and peg-box. That, one would think, is surreal enough in itself. But then Hague casts the hammer’s shadow as a Celtic cross. Music, religion and ancient history are evoked and weighted down by the heavy iron of the hammer’s head.” – Ashley Crawford
hague-vase print
hague-skulls
hague-hammer
After visiting Hague’s newly self-built studio in Melbourne’s Newport, I am thrilled to be able to share with you some recent works, literally hot off the press. Robert shared that he is equally excited to exhibit the works which will form an important part of the survey exhibition, Deca: 2003-2013 at Deakin University Gallery opening June 5th, 2013.
hague-7
hague-25
2013-02-20 21.37.02
Curioser & curioser I became the further I delved into the burrough of this suburban cornucopia of ideas and ephemera.
I’ll let the images do the talking.
hague-studio door
hague-outside--portrait
hague-13
hague-14
hague-22
hague-9
hague-8
hague-5
Join me later this week for a meander down Red Hill Rd Shoreham to view Hague’s recently installed Monument in good company at  Montalto Winery, Red Hill.