Interview with Sacha Tebo at Castel Haiti Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacha Thébaud (Tebó) was born on January 22, 1934 in Port-au- Prince, Haiti, where he lived with his family until 1945, when they  moved to Montreal, Canada. Tebó, who spoke 7 languages fluently, received his French Baccalaureate from College Stanislaus in Montreal in 1953. Son of a Harvard-educated dental surgeon, whose hobby was engraving and hammering copper into art, Tebó was encouraged at a young age to pursue his studies in architectural engineering, along with Fine Arts. In 1954, he began his studies in architecture at the University of Miami, and exhibited for the first time at Huber Gallery in Miami, Florida. The highlight of his early years in the U.S. was an American collaboration which included Tebó's participation with artists Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, and Robert Rauschenberg in  "Arte de América y España", which traveled to Hamburg, Paris, and Barcelona.  

 

Shortly after completing his studies in architectural engineering in 1959, Tebó received a scholarship from the French Government to further his studies in architecture. There he worked on the project Le Rond Point de la Defense, Paris in the atelier of Bernard Zehrfuss, Marcel Breuer, and Pier Luigi Nervi; and where he meets Le Corbusier, who later proposed to engage him for Chandigarh, his India project.  In 1960, Tebó set up his architectural practice in Haiti and consulted for USAID, United Nations, and various other international organizations. He again received a dual scholarship from the United Nations and the Brazilian Government to study urban design and urban administration in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Brasilia; where he met Sergio Bernades, Helio Modesto and, Oscar Niemeyer, modern architect for Brazil's center of government.

 

In 1965, Tebó established an architectural practice in St. Croix, USVI in partnership with two Michigan architects, Jack Brown and Jack Begrow. Thébaud, Begrow & Brown is responsible for many successful architectural projects and the planning and supervision of constructions for hotels, condominiums, offices, banks, apartments, and residences in the US Virgin Islands.

 

Tebó reestablished his architectural and planning office in Haiti in 1972, where the landscape and rich Caribbean colors influenced his work. He actively exhibited his art throughout the Caribbean, Florida, and Latin America. In the early 1980's Tebó and his eldest son, Francisco, established Kiko & Sacha Tebó. The body of their work focused on economical furniture suitable for the tropical climate.

In 1987, Tebó was invited by UNESCO to work on a restoration project in Santiago de Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. Energized by the mountainous and tropical landscapes, the vibrant colors of the ocean side, and the melodious rhythms of the island culture, Tebó settled in Santiago. He spent the next 17 years, traveling to the U.S., Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean where he created, exhibited, and sold a large body of work.  His synchronistic experiences encouraged him to write about and document pictorially his works 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 Senior Research grant project: "Dominican and Haitian Parallel Art in a Caribbean Territory", awarded by the Getty Foundation of Los Angeles, California. 

 

Dr. Edward J. Sullivan, Latin American art scholar, author, and art professor at NYU, depicts Tebó's later art as "Hermetic Mysticism". Tebó's 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.  His abstract and figurative subjects include 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.

 

Tebó passed away May 26, 2004 at the age of 70 at his residence in Santiago, Dominican Republic following a short battle with Pancreatic Cancer. He left behind 4 children, 8 grandchildren, his companion, many friends, and his legacy in the Caribbean and Latin American art world.