The conversion of thoughts
Artemano - September 2, 2016
“Taking a photo is documenting a thought.”
Photography speaks to Shimon Finkelstein the way books, films, music speak to others. It’s the creative medium that enables him to express and capture his ideas. Communicate emotion about a moment in time.
On a weekly basis, Shimon Finkelstein will visit each Artemano store. His purpose is a simple one: to discover the stores’ latest ambiances and capture the details through photography. This is his favourite time of the week, “witnessing the staff’s creativity, the levels to which they can take décor is evidence of how far they’ll push their curiosity and ultimately it’s like watching a show or movie unfold before my eyes.”
The habit of taking weekly photographs started about ten years ago, when Artemano was a fledgling brand with two stores under its wing. “I realized that each store was doing its own thing, but was unaware of what the other one was doing.”
Before long photography became the communication tool through which each store became privy to how the other was decorating their respective space. Today Shimon’s photos are shared company wide, across all ten Artemano locations spread out across Quebec and Ontario. “I email my photos and will usually attach a caption to them. The photos serve the purpose of bringing everyone’s creativity together and showcasing it on the same platform. My caption explains my vision and the emotions felt while taking the picture.”
Through the years Shimon’s love and understanding of photography have grown tremendously. “A photographed moment is easy to share. It’s a moment framed in time. A universal language that is understood by all.”
Whether its morning mist floating over a river, giving the impression of eating on a cloud or a cat perched on newly acquired Artemano stools with an air of ownership, photography has become Shimon’s vehicle to document his personal history and the story of Artemano.
His camera is constantly at his side. While travelling throughout South East Asia to source Artemano pieces he will constantly click away. Most of his photos are nature-focused. After all, nature is at the crux of Artemano’s DNA. It’s the central element that composes Artemano ambiances and guides design principles. When he does capture people, the shots are taken on the spur of the moment providing real, candid imagery that evokes authenticity. Nothing is ever staged or copied.
He shares his travel photos with the 165 people that make up the Artemano family, just as he does with his weekly photos of the stores. “Because my travelling consists of moments and provides people with an opportunity to travel with me.”
In recent months Shimon has shifted away from colour and has geared his focus to black and white. Found in stores they provide a strong contrast that works well with the Artemano design principles. With the combination of light and dark, of old and new. “Photos are accessories that enhance the main attraction. They are part of the ambiance. Black and white is more humble and doesn’t steal the show. Yet it’s just as powerful and the message is actually stronger.”
“I can take pictures of the same store on different weeks or of the same place that I have travelled to, but I will never take the same picture twice. Every time I discover and see something different and that’s what I’ll focus on.” Shimon has learned to recognize the importance of details and the lens and camera always offer a fresh perspective. A new way of looking at the world. One that gives Shimon the insight of noticing endless details and infinite possibilities.
Now he has the opportunity to share it with the public. To view his work click here.