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Words and

Luminous moments made of silences

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Pictoral Words

The strange poetic words strewn all over Tobiasse’s paintings and drawings were as important to him as the pencil and paint strokes. They were an integral part of his work, extending rather than explaining it. Here simple titles, there quite long sentences mixed up with the coloured strokes… A phantasmagoria bringing snippets of memory to the surface, springs of hope, little indulgences “to invent his life”.

“I write in my paintings because in the tradition of my people, things only live if they are named.”

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His writing also served as material for him to work with. Bee-like, he foraged in poetry and in those books, by Christian Bobin, le Clezio and Tahar Ben Jelloun, in which he took such great delight. History itself was not the most important thing, but rather the musicality, the strength or the gentleness of the words. Rearranged under his pen, they became a source of inspiration and reappeared in his drawings and sketchbooks, in that forest of symbols that lead him into Venice, into Jerusalem, and under the skies of Paris and New York. This writing placed on his paintings thus slipped onto the framework of the jewels of History, his history.

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The Saint-Paul de Vence sketchbooks

A major means of expression and the very essence of Tobiasse’s work, the Saint-Paul de Vence sketchbooks are a mass of creative intimacy, a jumble of writing, drawings and phrases that came into being in the dreams of the night or the fringes of the day between 1993 and 2001. Luminous moments made from silence and solitude, they sprang up at unexpected moments, higgledy-piggledy, in waves. Veritable diaries of pure and free creation, they were filled over the days and nights, regardless of the time or the moment. He wrote, drew, sketched and painted in these sketchbooks in Saint-Paul de Vence, New York, Venice and Jerusalem, those places of passion and magical inspiration that he preferred. Time was on standby and emotions became dreams, the stuff of exaltation and excitation.

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Sketchbook 1

July 1993 to October 1997

See the sketchbook

Sketchbook 2

October 1997 to april 1998

See the sketchbook
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Sketchbook 3

May 1998 to march 1999

See the sketchbook

Sketchbook 4

March 1999 to september 2000

See the sketchbook
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Sketchbook 5

September 2000 to november 2001

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