Brussels-based artist Pablo Tomek explores the social positions of the world through gestural paintings. Born in Paris, the painter interprets human predicaments and sociological mistakes through large canvas paintings that are smeared with a blend of metallic colours and thickly textured brush strokes.
Though Pablo’s artistic concepts are rooted in existential matters like “the construction of power” and “environmental mistakes”, his paintings, in fact, require a physical and intuitive feeling around such subjects which are then applied to the canvas in sweeping evocative movements. Pablo tells It’s Nice That, “when I’m painting, I’m working with a physical process which asks me to be completely present and in the moment.”
The artist’s work is full of rich layers of interpretation. In line with the abstract expressionist school of thought, mark-making and spontaneous impressions are registered onto the painting’s surface to represent Pablo’s singular emotions of the time. It is therefore up to the viewer to consider the meaning of the composition. The crowded repetition of thick strokes moving up and down the canvas in one direction could refer to erratic feelings of frustration around “people who don’t consider the environmental consequences of their actions.” Ultimately, for Pablo, the most important thing to him (in terms of viewing his work) is the simple act of actually being in front of the art and thinking about the work subjectively, whether “it’s in a good or bad way.”
The artwork is constructed using working man’s construction techniques such as industrial sponges or a karcher. The karcher is a pressure washer, traditionally used by screen printers who use the heavy-duty pressure spray to wash off dried paint imprinted onto mesh screens used during the screen printing process. Pablo works between the two processes of painting directly onto the canvas, and using the karcher to wash off the paint, leaving a detailed texture that has become a signature expression of his practice.
All in all, much of the beauty in Pablo’s work lies in the mystery behind the abstract paintings. He goes on to say, “I just want to evoke the mystery about the mistakes of our society through my work”, and he certainly achieves this by leaving much of the work’s evaluation to the viewer.
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.