La República Cultural
April 16, 1982
THE PAINTING OF SACHA TEBÓ
By Lácides Moreno Blanco
In recent days, Haitian artist Sacha Tebó has been exhibiting his latest creations in Unicentro’s Salón XX. According to what he has explained to us, he has been searching for a more transcendent concept of reality. More than anything else, this collection of excellent paintings reflects the original forms of an artist who, with talent and sensitivity, is seeking out new forms within the esthetical manifestations of his people, given that it has been traditionally accepted that a native school developed in Haiti which essentially captures surrounding life, full of strong colors, often naïve in its motifs; but poetic and authentic, distant in any event from an invigorating idealism, or in a selective anguish, qualifying itself as “naïve”.
As the Yugoslavian Boris Kelemen observed, “naïve” artists try to describe the life they are living and the world in which they live. The essential reality of this art is founded in this: in general ideas on life, covered with the symbolism of the objects painted, with scarce allusions to a philosophical framework, and no knowledge of the art of discursive thought.
Faced with this surrounding reality, Tebó has overcome this limited pictorial world; he conceives of modalities therefore capable of expressing something new and different. He occasionally questioned whether the possibility might exist of watching for, or discovering, another reality beyond that of merely personal perspective—things in their essences, we might almost say disincarnated, freed from the subject who contemplates this apparent reality, dedicating himself as of this creative illumination to a new order of painting. And it is a valid search, inasmuch as his works ably succeeded in distancing themselves essentially from the Haitian “naïve” art to which we have alluded, and express with almost always tranquil colors or tacit light, forms capable of being interpreted from each critical capacity or in harmony with the reactions of individual sensitivity.
The very technique which Tebó uses proclaims the consecration and responsibility of an anti-conformist artist. He uses the encaustic method, whose pictorial elements are based in beeswax, metallic oxides, and brown or dark earth. Through these pigments are revealed creations of strange beauty, not without a certain poetry. Paintings like Waterfall, In Black Smoke, or Window Open on the Infinite, have attracted favorable attention, not only because of their essential harmony, but also because they put into the present the creative valor of an artist who has spent more than 25 years struggling constantly with dreams and suitable materials, to capture the experiences of his acute sensitivity, faced with the circumstances of life, intimate solitude, and his own native landscape.