Featuring various brushwork lines and vigorous shapes embedded together in an abstract expression of supreme colours, Pablo Tomek’s (b.1988) distinct method forms the foundation of his artistic language. Influenced by the culture of the city art, the Paris-based painter reflects the experience of a graffiti artist, while drawing inspiration from the urban landscapes he interacts with. Abstraction is a dominant theme in his artistry; the uncontrolled expression, concealed by his contemporary gestural abstraction, offers a remarkable sense of freedom while seeing his paintings. The narrative is not specific and the artist flirts with a teleological approach to his works.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
Tomek twists his hands with great flexibility, while his mind plays with the time. The resulting artwork showcases the physical act of painting; each brushstroke represents an action. Taking into consideration that his graffiti need to be created in a rather short period of time, his painting process on canvas is similarly associated with these practices. Action painting techniques intensely characterise Tomek’s work. The up and down brushstrokes are spontaneously applied on canvas, while careful movements are less necessary. A wonderful consistency of colour variety on canvas made by boldly expressive handwork also delivers a particular visual stigma.
In this respect, Tomek’s work provides us with an engaging narrative that is based on abstract form and function rendering a dialectic conversation. Through his thick brushstrokes, a striking sense of simplicity evokes attention to the painting itself, but also raises his work to another level. Tomek’s painterly gestures remarkably bring an evocative depth as well as an aesthetic appeal to the forefront of his visual language. His canvas presents the artistic trace of the gestures made, leaving the audience with a feeling of freedom and honesty.
The quality of bringing his art into direct and instant involvement with the viewer gives rise to a sense of aesthetic excitement. There is a creative immediacy in which the artist foregrounds the process of painting as the main subject of his art. The unconventional applications of paint offer a unique style to Tomek’s works, which are based on his signature amorphous forms in an alluring combination of colours.
Born in Paris, Pablo Tomek (b.1988) lives and works in the French capital. Having left his distinctive tag on visual compositions in the public scene, his paintings have also been exhibited in many countries, such as Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and the United States. In 2016, he also collaborated with Palais de Tokyo in Paris for the Lasco Project #7 where the artist produced a 500 sqm outdoor mural. Besides being very busy with his graffiti and paintings, Tomek also teamed up with the fashion brand Off-White incorporating his abstract motifs on womenswear collection. Being a self-taught graffiti artist, Tomek is also a member of a Paris-based art group called Peace & Love (PAL-crew) demonstrating his long-lasting involvement in graffiti and more widely his commitment to the art techniques and aesthetics of street art culture. In addition, “Teren Alchemia” is Tomek’s first published monograph by Classic Paris.
In his interview with Art Verge, Pablo Tomek shares his approach on art issues and provides some interesting insights about his daily life. Check it out!
ArtVerge: Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Pablo Tomek: I do a different type of work but, actually I mostly do paintings coming from a worker-man techniques with construction tools like a sponge or a karcher. I paint with a specific process who working a bit as screen printing about the successive layer. I do few sketch, but finally never really respected them, so I never know how long on canvas gonna ask me, I am between painting and erase the paint on the canvas, painting or just find a way to feel the space. I was searching a system to show this antinomy; the final painting is the result of what you put out from the surface.
AV: How would you define your work in few words (ideally in 3 words)?
PT: Paradoxical, physic, from the others.
AV: Can you name any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
BT: It will be more about artistic movement, «nouveaux réalisme» Cesar, Arman…«Support surface» Viallat.. and paradoxically the «american abstract expressionism » from Mitchell to de Kooning at the same time. But let’s say Richter as the master one.
AV: Looking at your paintings, there is a contemporary gestural abstraction that comes to mind; is there any potential or other particular message or idea you desire to reveal on canvas?
PT: Yes, I’m jumping on making my own interpretation of environmental mistakes coming from the street, construction place or the power of the times in front of our material world, a social position because of making the eloge of the peoples’ work who don’t imagine the artistic and plastic potential of what they do. I’m using the same principle with ignorant drawing or crackhead drawing that in harvest on the wall, playing with them, interpret them and make them live back with my own interpretation on the canvas. Those things are the main beginning of each piece I do.
AV: Creating a new painting is a solitary process. If this applies to you, when you concentrate on a new artwork does it affect your social life at all?
PT: Yes, it is; the problem of finding an idea, realizing this idea, and be satisfied by the result makes me completely stressed, anxious and by period out of social power. But the real presence of this work’process is when the result is there. I start back to breath better in a way.
AV: How do you know when a painting is finished?
PT: There is no way to know, that’s a discussion between, rightness of colors, composition, mass, etc. Generally, the paintings themselves let me know when it’s fine for them.
AV: What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space like, and how does it affect your process?
PT: I’m doing my studio life in an area where everything is pretty chaotic, building are destroyed every day, there is no commercial life, a lot of squat and homeless camp, the area is dirty with is pretty beautiful… that’s an amazing food for the inspiration, founding materials, seeing hazardous, propositions. I work with that.
AV: Which exhibition did you visit last?
PT: I have to check on my phone, wait; The Ludwig museum permanent collection in Koln. It was really grateful to see some new Richter again, and some amazing Rauschenberg.
AV: What do you hope audiences will take from your work?
PT: A good discussion with a beer when they get out of the show. whatever they say, critics are welcome.
AV: What does your mum think about your art?
PT: She buys me all my pieces.
AV: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
PT: Try to be completely a morning person, (during the week).
Pablo Tomek’s “Mixed Messages. Works on Paper” is opening in a week. The exhibition will be an installation centered on the latest serie of large sized monotypes on paper by the French artist. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more info or for receiving a preview of the show which will be available prior to the opening. We are looking forward to seeing you. (Photo courtesy of Stefan Haehnel from Tomek’s solo show “Merci Chef” at U-Spree Gallery, Berlin, 2017) @pablotomek #nevvengallery
AV: Is the glass half empty or half full?
PT: Two empty glass so one full.
AV: Which are your plans for the near future?
PT: The main « Palais de Tokyo » space.
🇷🇺 Сегодня по всему городу проводится ежегодная акция "Ночь в музее", и наша галерея вместе со всем Винзаводом также принимает участие, поэтому выставка французских художников Пабло Томека и Кена Сортэ будет работать до 23:00. 🇬🇧 Today, there is the annual "Night at the Museum" across the city, and our gallery along with the whole WINZAVOD Contemporary Art Center also takes part in it, therefore, the exhibition of French artists PABLO TOMEK and Ken Sortais will open until 23:00. #terrassecritique #tbrgopen #kensortais #pablotomek #artmossphere #артмоссфера #tuborg #smirnovartsorokin #1112GALLERY #artis_project #postgraffiti #постграффити #винзавод #вечервернисажей #ночьвмузее #museumnight #ночьмузеев #винзавод #winzavod #искусство #art #exhibition #выставка #painting #artwork #contemporaryart #современноеискусство #lart #Kunst #艺术