On the penultimate day of our holidays, my wife and I decided to visit LA’s spectacular J. Paul Getty museum. Whilst wandering around the exceptionally impressive building, we individually happened across the Dutch masters’ room. One work in particular quite literally bought tears to our eyes; Jan van Huysum’s ‘A Fruit Piece‘. The detail was astonishing. That we have the privilege to view such an exceptional 18th Century masterpiece up close, though, was a gift in itself. Moreover, it was the emotion the piece infused in us both that will stay with me.
Not coming from an artistic background, I’ve always considered the art we have at THG to be ‘Heart Art’: art that has a similar emotional effect on both you and me to van Huysum’s. And it’s an absolute delight for us to sell each piece that is painted with love, to someone who will cherish it. A real win-win scenario for everyone.
And that’s truly why I started Contribution Buying and Staged Payments; so that someone who has a connection to a particular piece of art – who maybe couldn’t otherwise – can afford to have that thing of beauty in their lives. After all, we spend hundreds of pounds a year heating the outside of our bodies, so why not spend a fraction of that for something that will warm us from inside for life?
Conceptual art (or ‘head art’, as I like to call it) rarely has that same connection for me, which is why, in the main, I tend to steer clear of this in the gallery. Funnily enough, on the plane home there was an interesting documentary on this: ‘How To Look at a Painting‘ by Justin Paton, senior curator of Christchurch art Gallery. In it he explained the concepts behind conceptual art and although he ‘joined the dots’ for me, I was left intellectually satisfied, but emotionally a million miles from the emotional attachment I had with van Huysum’s masterpieces.
For me, art has to do that. It must take the wind out of you. It must enthuse you with excitement and desire to be amongst the place the painting takes us to. To feel the heat or power of that day; inspire memories; and, like a great song, capture a moment. Maybe one day I’ll find the ‘key’ and have that kind of interaction with ‘head’ art. But until then, THG’s focus will remain firmly on finding emotional connections between our astonishing works of art and their perfect homes. Did I say I love my job?
Andrew Tozer will be in shortly with some new pieces. His wall’s getting empty and I’m excited, as always, as to what will roll over our doorstep from him. His talent just keeps shining and I love that warm feeling I get when that splendid chap pops in with another batch of brilliance!
After an almost sell-out exhibition in December (14 of the 17 pieces he exhibited sold!) Ben Taffinder s got some work to do to restock as well. His rise to fame this year through his distinctive pallet-knife style, although rapid, wasn’t surprising for us. He’s an exceptional talent and we’ll be building on his popularity with more exhibitions throughout the coming year. More on that later.
The impossibly talented Robin Mason will be in at the end of this month with some new works and we have several commissions in the pipeline with him, too, so we’re keeping that fella on his toes. I’m delighted, too, that he’s agreed to become artist-in-residence at the Old Paraffin store, taking over from Andrew Tozer’s exceptional year there. Robin will take the reigns after Andrew’s May Bank holiday exhibition… so we’ll probably have Robin‘s first exhibition during the summer hols! More on that next month.
We’ve just taken delivery of two new works from our brilliant Italian/French artist, Jose Salvaggio too. We sold two in December and these stunning new pieces are just incredible. We’re sooooo lucky to have this exclusive partnership with him in the UK, so do take a moment to check those puppies out. French impressionism… just gotta love it!
I have a meet with our partner hotels, The Scarlet and Bedruthan, at the end of this month where we shall be planning some exciting events there this year, building on our success in 2013 together. I am also planning something special for Bristolians later in the year… but mum’s the word on that one! And if that’s not enough for you, I am in the process of developing an incredible new concept on the web. But again, I could tell you about that, but then I’d have to kill you. So more as the months roll on!
Jill Hudson will be in soon to freshen up (artistically speaking, of course, she doesn’t want to use our bathroom!) as I expect will all our wonderful artists, Claire Henley, Rachael Mia Allen, Ben Catt, David Gray and Mary Allen, whose work we’re almost out of… the list rolls on. Oh, and if that’s not enough for you, more fabulous artists will be joining the stable very soon as well! Can’t wait… arrrgghhhh!
But before I go, I’ve created a fun little ‘THG Alphabet of Art’ mousemat (see attached) (Note to self: I really mustn’t work on my hols… drives Susanne mad!) Anyway, I’ll be getting these printed soon, so if you’d like one – or as many as you like, they’re complimentary – just email me and I’ll happily send them out to you. Please let me know your interest a.s.a.p. so I can order enough for everyone…! ;0-)
Anyway, here’s to a cracking month ahead and maybe I’ll see you over the half-term week? Would be lovely!
It’s not often I beg to differ with the Oxford English Dictionary, but in my mind, the opposite of Love isn’t Hate, but Fear. Hate is a result of Fear. And I reckon fear is the one emotion that drives most of the negative stuff we see happening in society… especially the fear of not having enough.
We’re hardwired to ‘look after our clan’, be it friends, family, Country, etc. but I feel true strength resides in avoiding that instinct and instead acting from a position of Love and abundance towards everyone. I once read somewhere that if you’re not sure how to react in any one situation, ask yourself one question; ‘What would Love do now?’ read more