How migration birthed an artist: replacing emptiness with joy
“After a visit to Thierry B Fine Art, you could well be forgiven for thinking you have discovered the modern era of French Romanticism is alive and flourishing in South Yarra. Thierry himself is the driven French artist fuelled by his endless imagination and his need to create.” Barbara Carmichael, Art Writer.
Starting with nothing
Thierry B is an internationally acclaimed Australian abstract expressionist artist known for his fabulous French charm. But when he arrived from France in 1990, he could never have dreamt of what lay ahead. Thierry was hand-selected by Mietta O’Donnell, the doyen of the Melbourne restaurant scene, to be the maître d’ at Mietta’s. At the time, the iconic restaurant was a salon for food, arts and entertainment.Thierry’s warm spirit made every diner feel like a film star. But while he generously served others, he struggled to adapt to his new life.
Longing for luxury
Thierry’s first rented apartment was in East Melbourne. The rooms were tiny and the walls were bare. To the young Frenchman, the blankness was an affront and a provocation. The empty apartment made Thierry long for the beauty of his hometown, Lyon, where he had worked at a Michelin star restaurant with legendary chef Pierre Orsi. Thierry began to create art to bring a touch of luxury to his surroundings, even before he’d bought a bed. He began with collages and then abstract expressionist paintings. These creative impulses came as a surprise and a revelation, Thierry explains: “I didn't know I had that creativity inside me, but I started doing my own thing to put on the wall, while I was sleeping on the floor. I didn't care, I had nothing, and I needed something nice around me.”
Following the urge
With no formal training, Thierry learned his craft through experimenting and asking questions at his local art supplies shop. He quickly became a member of the Melbourne artists’ community. He remembers, "I started selling at little markets, the wind would blow everything away, and I'd cry and think ‘Shit! I’m never doing this again.’ But then I'd have that urge, and I'd do it again and again." A few years later, Thierry prepared for his first exhibition. Working now at France Soir, he was delighted to discover the long-time customers, who he had served with elegance and charm, were now his friends and fans. One of Thierry's regulars offered gallery space for Thierry’s first show. Three hundred people came to see the work. His career as an artist had begun.
Opening the mind to possibility
As Thierry’s paintings grew a steady stream of buyers, he worried he might run out of ideas. It was this fear that led Thierry to start meditating. Meditation gave him a method for opening his mind, he says, “It was a way for me to explore the world beyond what we can see.”He starts each painting with a black canvas, which represents nothingness. His work examines a world beyond what meet the yet. When his paint touches the black canvas, he brings joy, harmony and possibility to life. His paintings explore states of mind, available to us all, which are often crowded out by the frenzy of modern life. Each lyrical landscape is a dialogue with reality.Thierry B has grown to become an internationally respected abstract expressionist, with buyers spread across four continents.
The outsider becomes an institution
After thirty years of painting, Thierry’s work continues to explore art as a window into possibility. In art and in person, Thierry transmits positive energy that lifts those it touches. His passion for his work turns first-time buyers into lifelong collectors. He’s an art dealer for his own work and for other artists, as well as having a talent for high-end décor. Thierry's warmth and joie de vivre ensure his reputation as an Australian icon for today and the future. He’s delighted to offer this new collection, so you can add a touch of luxury to your surroundings, “with pleasure, darling.”