I met Christopher about nine years ago at a street party. I was drawn to his incredible face, steeped with so many characters rolled into one. No wonder, he is an actor, songwriter, raconteur, producer, writer, chameleon. He had lived and it showed, especially in his eyes. Christopher grew up in the USA, however he is an Australian citizen.

At the time of our unexpected meeting I had moved into my new studio, had dreams of painting for competitions, and so invited him up with the Archibald competition in mind. During that serendipitous meeting we spoke of life and what was on our minds. At that time Hans wanted to convert, it was a long story about the difficulties he was facing. Christopher (who is not Jewish) told me about one of his closest friends, a Rabbi located in LA. His name was Rabbi Reuben. That brought me up with a jolt as anyone who knows me, knows my angel, whom I named as a young child, is Reuben. It was a sign! Christopher duly made the introductions and over the course of time, Hans converted with Rabbi Reuben’s guidance.


'Christopher' was my entry for Archibald 2016 (Art Gallery of NSW).

A close up of 'Christopher'.

I didn’t paint Christopher all those years ago as life got in the way. However we remained friends. In 2014-15 I painted a body of work in Hans’s honour and this was shown in Sydney in November 2015. I then returned to my studio a little lost, until one night in December 2015 I dreamt of Christopher. It was a painting of his face. I remembered it as though it were just yesterday. I immediately called Christopher who agreed to sit once more. I embarked on emulating the dream: Christopher’s face in my Hans' favourite colours.

'Christopher' hanging at Becker Minty (Sydney) in August 2016. (SOLD)

It was quite an experience. Over the five month period, I painted Christopher (had to have patience to wait for each layer to dry). Reflecting on the story and outcome was never far from my mind. I felt like a conduit. My angels and guides were the creators of this work whist helping me heal. Painting Christopher has given me a degree of closure, I will be forever indebted to him, as Hans, may He rest in peace, would not be buried where he is today had it not been that unforeseen meeting all those years ago.

Jacqueline Tiepermann