I have a thing for paintings of city buildings. I have some great small cityscape paintings from when I regularly went to flea markets, long before art was sold online. The more windows they had, the better. I always felt so lucky when I came across one.
I knew I had to see Tabboo! Cityscapes as soon as I got back to Manhattan. It did not disappoint. The exhibition was at two of Karma’s galleries in the East Village. I’m only disappointed that I was not in town early enough to see the other part of Tabboo!’s cityscape painting survey at the Gordon Robichaux gallery in Union Square. The survey comprised three decades of paintings of New York City. I adore the paintings.
Tabboo! (Stephen Tashjian, b. 1959, Leicester, MA) is a multidisciplinary performer, designer, and artist with a fascination for celebrity, cityscapes, and the aesthetics of the everyday. Coming to prominence at the heart of New York City’s drag scene in the 1980s, Tabboo!’s work holds a diaristic impulse that has ranged from the visuals of nightlife to idyllic scenery. Portraits of friends, still lifes, and work related to current political opposition populates the artist’s oeuvre, rendered sparkling and bittersweet with a striking honesty. Tabboo! has performed extensively, created murals for public projects, designed flyers, album covers, and collaborated with fashion designers.
His work is held in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas. (Karma)