Sacha Tebó (aka, Sacha Thébaud) was a contemporary artist born in Port-au-Prince, Haition January 22, 1934. He was raised in Montreal, Canada. Son of a Harvard-educated dental surgeon, whose hobby was engraving and hammering copper into art, Sacha Thébaud was encouraged at a young age to pursue his studies in architectural engineering, along with Fine Arts.
In the late 1950’s, after obtaining a degree in architectural engineering in Haiti, a grant program took Tebó to Paris where he collaborated alongside Bauhaus minimalist architects Marcel Breuer, Luigi Nervi, and Bernard Zerhfuss, in the design of a cube-shaped building standing on two of s points, Le Pavillion de la Défense. While in Paris, he was exposed to Picasso, Miró, and Chagall, but felt independent of their influence. With a penchant for clean precise shapes, he took the opportunity to meet modern architectural master, Le Corbusier, who later proposed to engage him for his Chandigarh, India project. Instead, Tebó married Rona Roy, and began his architectural practice in Haiti. In the early 1960’s another grant program took him to Brazil, where he studied under Oscar Niemeyer, the modern architect for Brazil’s center of government. These architectural leaders were to have a philosophic influence on Tebó’s designs.
Simultaneous to establishing his architectural practice, Tebó began his professional artistic career in 1958. One of his first murals was a revolutionary style wall mural 20 feet in height , Le Marron Inconnu, (The Unknown Slave) on the walls of Castel Haiti, the ten-story hotel he constructed atop his parents’ residence. Tebó soon experimented with carving and shaping sheets of copper metal. In 1962, under political stress during the François “Papa Doc” Duvalier regime, Tebó left his native Haiti for Miami to obtain a Master’s degree in architecture. He supported himself and his growing family by painting and exhibited in galleries from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West. The highlight of his first year in the U.S. was an American collaboration which included Tebó’s participation with artists Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, and Robert Rauschenberg. "Arte de America y España" traveled to Hamburg, Paris, and Barcelona. The next forty-two years comprised many intra-Caribbean and international art exhibits in museums and galleries, architectural commissions, and chair designs.
Tebó, seeking a drier climate, moved to St. Croix, U.S., Virgin Islands in 1965, where he established an architectural practice, Thébaud Begrow & Brown, and became a U.S. citizen. After the death of “Papa Doc”, Tebó moved his family and practice to Port-au-Prince. In 1977, Tebó and wife divorce, and he was awarded custody of their four children. Soon after, he begins to concentrate more on painting than architecture. In 1987, after the violent unrest in Haiti following the departure of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, he moved to Santiago, Dominican Republic with Spanish companion Maria de los Angeles “Angelines” Gracia. He formed the Ekosol Foundation to find ecological solutions to problems prevalent in third world countries such as Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In the next 17 years, he traveled to the U.S., Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean where he created, exhibited, and sold a large body of work. His strange experiences relating to numerology, synchronism, and metaphysics encouraged him to write and document pictorially for the benefit of others.
In 1997 the Dominican Association of Art Critics, a division of UNESCO, awarded Tebó the Best Individual Exhibition in the Foreign Artist category. In 1998 Tebó participated in a grant awarded by the Getty Foundation of Los Angeles. His last U.S. exhibit was in Laguna Beach, California in 2003. He died on May 26, 2004, of pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Edward J. Sullivan, Latin American art scholar, author, and art professor at NYU, describes that Tebó‘s later art is composed of pictographs, which he depicts as ‘Hermetic Symbolism.’ Tebó paintings employ encaustics: the application of metallic oxide pigmented beeswax on beeswax-coated canvas or masonite. This media was originally used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Tebó’s abstract and figurative subjects included women, horses, boats, fishermen, fish, pelicans, seagulls, doves, birds, spiritual and metaphysical matter including the earth, the sea, auras, humanity, angelic and mythological creatures, and cultural aspects of the Caribbean: rhythm and movement. Tebós large sculpture are of stainless steel or painted aluminum, while most tabletop sculpture are in bronze, engraved with pictographs.
In 1996 at the Museo De Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Tebó presented an environmental installation, Materia Viva, translated as Living Matter. This exhibit, (75 feet in height by 150 feet in length) shows how discarded tires and tin cans could be recycled, not only as a static and visual statement of art, but also as an active, ecologically safe stove using tree-saving combustibles. This dynamic community experience is multi-sensory as one sees the fire burning and the water boiling, feels the heat, and smells the food cooking. Materia Viva is the second monumental installation, following an aluminum wall sculpture, The Third Wave, which depicts the three anthropological waves of technology: the agricultural, industrial, and the information eras, as described in futurist Alvin Toffler’s book with he same name. This sculpture is 80 feet long by 12 feet high and hangs at Miami’s Datran Center.
Tebó’s works have appeared in many reviews, art publications, and in a segment of Miami Vice.
Information courtesy of the artist's daughter, Fabiola Thebaud-Kinder