Tabboo! (Stephen Tashjian, b. 1959, Leicester, Massachusetts) is a multidisciplinary artist and painter based in New York City. He renders his subjects in a direct, intuitive style, suspending figurative elements against dreamlike colorfields. Tabboo! often draws subjects from his surroundings, depicting expressive cityscapes, portraits of friends, or imaginative still lifes inspired by the plants in his apartment. He also paints large, panoramic works and site-specific murals. These immersive settings recall the painted backdrops he made for performances in the 1980s and 1990s. While performing regularly himself, Tabboo! also designed numerous event fliers, posters, and album covers featuring his signature curvilinear text, which still appears in his work. Roberta Smith described Tabboo!’s paintings as “delicious, fresh and transparent, revealing every touch of color, every pour and drip.” You can see how he translated his style into a coloring book page in Between the Lines: An RxART Coloring Book by Contemporary Artists – Volume 9.
Tabboo!’s work is held in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.