The Finkelstein Files: Art As Therapy

When Oprah expouses the need to be our most authentic selves, to live our ‘best life’, she is telling us to live from the heart. As children we played inexhaustedly all day long, often forgetting to eat, relishing the intricate game we had concocted before being called in to eat dinner.  Playing may well be our greatest skill. Why then, must we be reminded constantly to re-enact our ‘inner child’ rather than our ‘inner critic’?

Plato once infamously said, “You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than you can in a year of conversations”. 

Which got me thinking – how do I play?
As a child I was an avid drawer, creating elaborate aerial perspectives of my bedroom, my haven from the world. An introverted dreamer, I loved escaping into worlds I festooned with colour and movement on old reams of butchers’ paper.
School work then took priority & for several years I forgot I could draw. I suffered my first bout of deep introspection, a.k.a depression aged 15, I painted my walls charcoal grey & the window sills of my bedroom even darker still.
I drew on an easel (same reams of butcher paper) every night after dinner, in graphite, charcoal sticks, chalky pastels, trying to somehow push my feelings through the paper, to the other side where answers would await me. The other side always felt out of reach.
Until I swapped my drawing apparatus with my bare hands. I bought two blocks of stoneware clay & forged hand-built figures, peeling away the positive until the negative space stood alone and whole.
This felt right, and somehow already known to me. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves all at the same time. What art offers is space, a certain breathing room for the spirit.

Above: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lake George (formerly Reflection Seascape), 1922.
Credit All rights reserved, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Many people inspire me.
American painter, Georgia O’Keefe was emphatic that “I could say things with colour and shape that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for”.


Above: Another beam of pure energy and light is the world’s oldest yoga instructor, Tao Porchon-Lynch, 98 who says ‘the joy of living is right inside you”.
After teaching for more than 75 years, this spirited yogi started her training in India at the tender age of 8. She swears by the mantra that “anything is possible”.

Jim Carrey, recently took up painting to play and explore his emotions in a symphony of colour on canvas. I don’t think he cares what he creates particularly – it is simply the act of creating and playing specifically that interests him most.

His 6-minute vimeo entitled I NEEDED COLOUR explains his motivation to explore.The video provides viewers with a brief look into what Carrey’s life is like, and the monumental amount of time and energy that he spends honing his craft, and his drive to do so.

Carrey shows off his various methods of creating artwork: heavy and measured brushstrokes, modelling clay, squeegeeing paint off of canvases, and then pouring paint directly on them.

Above: Jim Carrey in his studio.
Kurt Vonnegart’s humanist belief shone through his novels which blended science, satire and black comedy. 

He said, “to practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it”.


Japanese physician, 105-year-old Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, lived a long and extremely full life. The fact that he saw patients until a few months before his death that defies everything we have come to expect of old age.

He headed five foundations in addition to being the president of St Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo. He was responsible for introducing Japan’s system of comprehensive annual medical check-ups, which have been credited with greatly contributing to the country’s longevity.

How did he manage to live so long and live those years in a state of good health? He didn’t follow a sensible diet, but rather kept his physique trim by eating when hunger struck, and slept when he felt tired.

Working 18 hour days, 6 days a week, he seems superhuman surely. His work/life balance was skewed?  Not if you love what you do & share the knowledge, lecturing actively 2-3times weekly. He believed that energy comes from feeling good.

Don’t retire, but remain active longer. Mental agility equals well-being. That, and playing like a kid.

“Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.” 

He believed in the benefit of play with art, musical therapy providing the ideal stimulation to keep illness at bay.

Believing life is all about contribution, he held an incredible drive to help people – this is what made life worth living for him.

 

Closer to home, Thierry B is a mentor for me in how to live purposefully. His Buddhist beliefs underscore his ability to live life playfully with intention to serve others.

I am appreciative that I get to learn from my work environment from my daily dealings with valued clients. I listen to their needs and together we come up with a solution. The communication I offer is transparent and informative. We are all each others teachers, no matter how large or small the lesson taught.

I have bought two more bags of stoneware clay, dug out my wooden case of sculpting tools. This weekend, I’m gonna play until I feel hungry or the sun sets, whichever comes first. Art as therapy.

Wishing you a playful weekend,

Vicki xx


 

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The Finkelstein Files: Art Matters

Above: Michelle Breton, Chant Du Midi, Mixed Media, 152 x 137cm.

 

Above: Thierry B, Blush, Synthetic polymer Paint on Canvas, 122 x 91.5cm.

 

Above Left: Thierry B, Where Are You Now?, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 170 x 250cm, Private Residence, Caulfield.

Above Right: Michael Whitehead, Things Forgotten, Synthetic Polymer Paint & Mixed Media on Canvas, 120 x 150cm, Private Residence, Caulfield.

 

The definition of decorative means to make something more attractive – to embellish and beautify and enhance one’s environment. In France, the term decorative is celebrated in all its forms from furniture, to carpets, soft furnishings and ornaments. Decoration is an art form in itself to be revered and admired. Why then, does the word ‘decorative’ sound so dirty when we apply it to art ?

To decorate one’s environment is to create a space which reflects your taste and admiration for certain colour palettes and styles which inform and transform wall space into ‘energy pockets’ where your eyes zoom in and rest on works you love to look at and live with everyday. And it is entirely personal. What we are drawn toward and respond to may be decorative in nature, have no narrative but to take your eyes on a journey of exploration.

Above: Patricia Heaslip, Ether, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm –  Private Residence, Malvern.

Above: Patricia Heaslip, Untitled, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm –  Private Residence, Brighton.

Above: Patricia Heaslip, Diamond Soul, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm.

Thierry B Fine Art offers our clients possibilities and services which no other gallery includes in Melbourne. If you are placing your greatest asset on the market for sale, our stockroom holds over 400 paintings by an eclectic range of 12 artists including the prolific portfolio by Thierry B himself, whose series number 16 different styles. Truly something for everyone – we are adept at working within your budget and timeframe — whether it be for an Open For Inspection to the public, or a private function hosted at home, or longer term rentals available for commercial and private spaces.

More cost effective than alternative options – our service provides delivery with our professional carriers and installation by Thierry B for the wow factor. Thierry has been told by so many satisfied clients that he ‘has the eye’ & will deftly tweak a few pieces of your existing furniture, or suggest some tired art works require a ‘facelift’ with a sharp custom frame, can source on your behalf furniture, soft furnishings where required.

“Thank you to Thierry B – he has ‘the eye’! With our renovation complete, we had many blank walls staring back at us but had no idea where to start. Thierry was able to assist us with proportions and existing work we owned and even the placement of furniture so that it all flowed beautifully from one room to the next” – Mr. & Mrs. Cawthorne, Brighton.

 

Above: Thierry B, Darwinism Series, Indulgence of Freedom, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 200 x 300cm.

Above: Thierry B, Darwinism Series,  Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 170 x 250cm – Private Residence, East Melbourne.

 

With as many as 16 painting styles, Thierry B has a healthy insta following  – all enamoured with his diversity and talent. He is open to accepting commissions for clients who are keen to add his energy to their blank walls at home. Thierry regularly makes house calls to offer a complimentary consultation to recommend the ideal proportions of a painting which can act as an anchor point in a room. Clients are then able to select their preferred colour palette to either work back with existing work hanging or create a new energy in the space.

 

Above Left: Phonsay, Under My Umbrella, Acrylic on Linen, 122 x 122cm.

Above Right: Phonsay, Bubblegum Dream , Acrylic on Linen, 122 x 122cm.

Phonsay‘s clever and whimsical digital photographic prints have long been a favourite among Thierry B clients, who are drawn in with his quirky compositions all expertly framed in this limited edition printed on super fine, museum-quality rag paper, offering an aquarelle stipled-like effect. This year sees Phonsay picking up his fine hair paint brushes to create some client commissions of portraits of families, and the odd surprise gift for a special birthday for hard to buy for loved ones. The paintings start from 122 x 122cm in size and can be commissioned to size with an emerging price tag to boot. An affordable way of adding a treasure to your growing collection.

Above: Michael Whitehead, Ever After, Synthetic Polymer Paint and Mixed Media on Linen, 80 x 270cm, Private Residence, Toorak.

Above: Thierry B, Pieces of You, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, Private Residence, Toorak.

Some of Thierry B’s satisfied clients:

“We are both so thankful for your decorating expertise for our home – from advice on paintings for our space, design recommendations and of course, your skillful hanging – it now looks amazing!”  –  Karen and Justin, Malvern.

“Hi Thierry – this is the quickest makeover ever. Thought I was in the wrong apartment. Looks brilliant. Love your work. Many thanks for your time today. Very much appreciated” – Julie & Michael, Southbank

Above Left: Thierry B, Unlimited Series, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 183 x 183cm – Port Melbourne Residence.

Above Right: Thierry B, Between the Lines Series, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 137 x 122cm – Port Melbourne Residence.

Above Right: Thierry B, Calming Chaos, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Linen, 183 x 183cm – Williamstown Residence.

It is always appreciated when our valued clients take the time to express their gratitude: “Dear Thierry, I’m walking around my house in absolute awe with what you have created here with your style and flair, something that I would never have been able to achieve. Thank you so much for everything so far. I really appreciate you coming out this afternoon and fine tuning the furniture and putting up the family photos which are very important to me and you’ve made it look classy and elegant. I know it’s a busy time of year for everyone so I appreciate you fitting today into your schedules. I can’t wait to see the house in Belle magazine hopefully sometime in 2017 to show off your hard work for all to admire. You’re a true gem and a beautiful person! Justine xxxx” – John & Justine, Williamstown.

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.

 

The Finkelstein Files: The Fine Art of Investment

 

Richard Lewer
Untitled #27 (Tax Time Again) (2016)
Langridge pigmented ink on sandpaper, 28cm by 23cm

Thierry B Fine Art showcases the Abstract paintings and sculpture from over a dozen Australian artists.

Prices start from $4,950 upto $55,000. The gallery also includes a custom made frame for the painting, and complimentary delivery and installation.

Master painter and designer, Thierry B, will also scope your home or business space and recommend the ideal proportions.  We provide a turn-key solution for our valued clients – where guesswork has been eliminated for you.

Jasper Knight, Private Charter Wharf Kirrabilly, Enamel on Canvas, 183 x 183cm, $22,000 GST Incl.

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 “Tony’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 $2 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.

 

Patricia Heaslip, Landlines, 29016, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm, $15,000 GST Incl.

Thierry B, New Chapter, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 183 x 183cm, $22,000 GST Incl

Gallery Manager and 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 thing,” Finkelstein says.

Phonsay, (left), Under My Umbrella, (right), Bubble-Gum Dream, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 122cm, $ 8,800 GST Incl each.

Thierry B, Effervesence, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 168cm, $11,000 GST Incl

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.

 

Geoffrey Dyer, Koonya Bluff, 2007, Oil on Linen, 183 x 244cm, $ 65,000 GST Incl

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.

Thierry B, Blush, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, $9,900 GST Incl

 

Michelle Breton, Carnavonesque, 2017, Mixed Media on Canvas, 183 x 183cm, $12,000 GST Incl

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.

Thierry B, Euphoria Series – Yves Blue, 2016, 170 x 250cm.

Image courtesy of Private Collection, Melbourne, Australia. Photo Credit: The Design Files.

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.

Michael Whitehead, Things Forgotten, 2017, Synthetic Polymer Paint & Mixed Media on Canvas, 120 x 150cm, $ 7,700 GST Incl.

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.

Vicki xx

The Finkelstein Files: Bonnes Vacances!

Thierry B Fine Art is open 11am – 5pm until Saturday 24th December! We have had a very busy few months welcoming clients into our new purpose-built gallery showroom in South Yarra. Now open across 7 days, our collection is accessible from 11am – 5pm or by appointment. As a note of gratitude to our loyal clientele, the gallery would like to extend an invitation to purchase paintings at a reduced price, to include custom framing, delivery and installation into your space for business of home.

ever_after_80_x_270_cm-sized

Michael Whitehead, Ever After, Synthetic Polymer Paint and Mixed Media on Linen, 80 x 270cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.
fortitudePatricia Heaslip, Absinthe, Oil on Canvas, 137 x 137cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.

 

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Thierry B, Tides Turning, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen , 200 x 300 cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.

diamond-soul

Patricia Heaslip, Diamond Soul, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.

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Thierry B, Indulgence of Freedom, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen , 200 x 300 cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.
Foreground: Alan Annells, Kimberley Horizons Series, Cast silicon bronze and stainless steel, unique edition.

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Master painter, Thierry B. pictured in his Huntingdale studio.

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Thierry B, The Well Wisher, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen , 200 X 300 cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso.

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Thierry B Fine Art Gallery interior featuring 200 x 300cm paintings by Thierry B.

Grounded 152 x 122cm

Thierry B, Grounded, Synthetic Polymer paint on Linen, 152 x 122cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso.

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Thierry B, Relying On Each Other, Synthetic Polymer paint on Linen, 122 x 183cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso

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Thierry B, Deep Ocean Horizon, Synthetic Polymer paint on Linen, 183 x 330cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year for all,

Vicki & Thierry xx

IMG_1753

The Finkelstein Files: Portrayals of Place

This blog is brought to you from Darwin in the Northern Territory! Guest blogger and Aboriginal art collector, Thierry B has snapped us his top picks from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory tonight in the balmy 28 degree heat, as he reclines in the comfort of a waterfront deckchair at the Darwin International Film Festival (Melbournites will understand my obsession with any temperature in the double digits this week…) Darwin has hosted the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) since 1984.  The aim of the award is to recognise the important contribution made by Indigenous artists from regional and urban areas throughout Australia, working in both traditional and contemporary media. It’s an important showcase for both established and emerging artists and has come to be regarded as one of the premier national events in the Australian Indigenous art calendar.   indig Thierry is quick to remind me that it’s de rigour to ensure that ethically sourced Indigenous art be purchased from a reputable outlet or agent across Australia. One way to be certain a work for your home has been ethically sourced is if it has been purchased from Indigenous artist-owned, community-based art centres, where one exists for the region, or from galleries that source the artwork from these centres or that are signatories to the Indigenous Art Code (indigenousartcode.org).  Collectors too are giving themselves the best chance to buy work that will appreciate with confidence by purchasing with clear-conscience confidence. IMG_4036 In recent years, aboriginal art from Australia has gained growing international recognition as more studies are being carried out on them. Contemporary artists continue to carry on the tradition of telling old stories through a variety of new media as explained by leading Indigenous arts historian, Colin Jones here. IMG_4032 IMG_4035 We are lucky enough to include two outstanding works in the auction, both generously donated through keen AUSiMED supporters, see Mitjili Naparrula’s AUSiMED work here and work by Patrick Mung Mung here. august 2015