Monthly Archives: October 2008

New Paintings from the Pipeline

Part of the creative process is to simply keep things moving along. Get some new works in gear, and finish up the older stuff. Here are a couple paintings I’ve just finished for the upcoming show on November 19 at Art Bar in Manhattan:

Still Life with Stapler (Office Space)

Still Life with Stapler (Office Space)



Summer BBQ

Summer BBQ

It’s simply a matter of seeing it through, kind of like Hemingway’s advice on writing: “Write every day and finish what you start.” Not too tough when it’s broken down to the most basic elements.

Another way to put it is: “Just keep swim-ming, just keep swim-ming.”

Dory shares words o' wisdom with Nemo.

Dory shares words o' wisdom with Nemo

And now for the Daily Chuckler®, the infamous stapler scene from “Office Space”, which inspired the still life at the top of this post.



Filed under original art

High School Letterman’s Jacket Factory Churns Out Fine Art

For decades the factory at 168 Seventh Street in Brooklyn put out letterman jackets. Now, the place is overrun with writers and artists.

Oxbow Bridge, Central Park

Oxbow Bridge in Central Park: a painting by Michael Sorgatz

Got to chat with a few of them at the A.G.A.S.T. (Annual Gowanus Artists Studio Tour) art walk this weekend, including Michael Sorgatz, Ella Yang, Rick Midler, Rachael Gardner, Brian Young and Richard Kessler.

Good things arising from that Gowanus Canal area these days… and some weird things.

Jellyfish in the Gowanus

Jellyfish in the Gowanus

I sawr a jellyfish swimming happily (or so it seemed) in the thick waters as I walked over the Union St. Bridge a couple months ago. Life, of a sort, in the Gowanus…. not necessarily a good sign. Is it the beginning of the end?

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Filed under art in new york, Artists

Art for turbulent times.

Here’s a press release (with pictures below) about my upcoming show…

Artist John Tebeau’s ‘Simple Pleasures’ show opens Nov. 19 at Art Bar in Manhattan

New York, N.Y. – The economic news is grim: mortgage meltdown, banks in crisis, Congress approving a massive rescue package and the stock market’s all over the place.

New York artist John Tebeau created a series of paintings titled Simple Pleasures in part as a reaction to difficult conditions, and in part as a celebration of what is still good in life.

“I can’t go back in time and stop mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, fix all that’s broken in Iraq, or improve the sorry state of political discourse – the list of problems out of the control of average people is enormous,” Tebeau said. “As a way to keep things in perspective, I thought about the things I do control, what I can do to improve my mood. Things that I like.”

Tebeau began a list of “good things”: cold beer, hot coffee, summer barbecues, the first snow of winter, vintage Cadillacs, a day at the beach, Bugs Bunny, board games.

“As Andy Warhol once said, Pop Art is about liking things, and that’s what these paintings are all about: simply liking things,” said Tebeau. “Or, actually, liking simple things.”

Simple Pleasures opens at the Art Bar in Manhattan’s West Village in November and runs through Feb. 15. The opening is 6-9 p.m. Nov. 19 at Art Bar, 52 Eighth Ave., near Horatio Street.

Tebeau began cartooning in elementary school in North Muskegon, Mich., encouraged when he realized it got him attention from girls. After graduating from University of Michigan, he moved to Chicago, where he made a living designing and silkscreening T-shirts, and later cofounded Comic Arts Monthly, distributed in Chicago and Ann Arbor, Mich.

He relocated to California’s Bay Area, working as a barista and spent much of his time teaching himself to paint. He also did freelance design and illustration work and paintings commissioned by friends and acquaintances who liked his developing style.

Tebeau now lives in Manhattan, working as a self-employed artist and graphic designer. One of his most consistent clients is Arbor Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor, Mich., which uses Tebeau’s work on its bottles, six-packs and tap handles. Tebeau is an artist in residence at the Brooklyn Artists Gym, where he recently exhibited in a group show. He also teaches after-school art classes at the School for Ethical Culture.

Tebeau’s cartooning is influenced by his love of alternative comics like Robert Crumb and the 1950s-era Mad comics, and his colorful, pop-art painting style brings that approach, as well. He draws painting inspiration from Wayne Thiebaud, Peter Max, Robert Indiana, Alice Neel and Andy Warhol, among others.

In addition to Simple Pleasures, Tebeau will show a sampling of his pop art paintings at Lolita Bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, with an opening 6-9 p.m. Dec. 11. That show runs through the end of January. Lolita Bar is located at 266 Broome St., between Allen and Orchard streets.

John Tebeau’s portfolio:
John Tebeau’s art for sale:
John Tebeau’s blog:
More about Art Bar:
Lolita Bar:


Filed under Art Shows, openings, original art

Countdown Begins

I’m finishing a dozen paintings in the next five weeks. Time to apply nose (A) to grindstone (B).

But that’s okay. Deadlines are good. Moderate stress is cool; it motivates good work. I have two solo shows opening this fall: one at the Art Bar in the West Village (opening November 19, 6-9 p.m.), the other at Lolita on the Lower East Side (opening December 11, 6-9 p.m.).

Here are a couple of new ones, to be shown at Art Bar, a show called “Simple Pleasures”:

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Filed under Art Shows

On Discovering Downtown Art in the Wilds of Long Island

Who knew I’d find a trove of my recently-discovered-favorite-downtown New York artist’s work in the middle of a colonial-era village out on Long Island?

Yesterday Wifey-Mae and I hopped the train out to Huntington, NY, on Long Island’s north shore. Nice little old commuter town, founded back to 1653. The graveyard was full of those flimsy brown headstones, about as thick as a road atlas, half of which had toppled over in in about 1896 making you just feel sorry for whomever’s underneath.

Anyway, after lunch at ye olde Pancho Villa’s Mexican Restaurant and an afternoon of ambling around, we stopped into a slick reataurant/lounge called Honu for a drink. Their brick walls were plastered with paintings by a guy named Peter Tunney, who keeps a studio in SoHo and a gallery in Midtown. I discovered his work a few weeks ago as I passed his place on 52nd and Fifth. Big, bold pop paintings; mostly words of wisdom layered on top of collages. They were cool enough in his gallery, but even better out there in the world, on the bricky walls behind a bar in a former colonial village.

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Filed under Artists

Opening at Brooklyn Artists Gym

Thanks to all of you who came to the opening reception of Brooklyn Artist Gym‘s “Composition” show in August. It was a good night, I sold a couple paintings, and I feel really lucky to have so many good friends who schlepped (in the local parlance) out to Gowanus for the evening. We capped it off with a dynamite dinner at Palo Santo on Union St. and a beer after at Union Hall in Park Slope.

Next up: a solo show (the theme: “Simple Pleasures”) at Art Bar in the West Village with the opening reception on November 19 and another show at Lolita on the Lower East side opening on December 11.

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Filed under Art Shows, openings

Welcome to my blog

I’m not really crazy about technology. Sometimes it seems to me that things are moving too fast, and the deluge of information is just too much. Maybe it’s just because I’m of a certain age, but maybe it’s because I belong in a certain age, say the pre-Renaissance or the Iron Age.

Still, I understand the potential of a blog. Instead of just having a static Web site where I show my portfolio, a brief bio and some new content once a decade, I can share what I’m working on, what I’m thinking about, what I’m inspired by –- and engage you in a conversation about it.

Sure, this blog will be about my art, what I’m working on now, what I’m doing next, but hey — how about that Gilbert and George retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art? What do you think about those guys? Come ON! GILBERT AND GEORGE! Don’t know who they are? Check out this link, here’s one of their pieces, here’s one of their videos, etc. Well, we just learned and grew there, didn’t we? Like that very special episode of some damn show or another.

Okay, you get the idea. More to come.

Stop back soon, share your thoughts, etc.

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