Guten Tag, Pablo Tomek


“Pablo Tomek is a painter who lives and works in Paris. He has always rejected the Street Art label to define his work. Nowadays, with social networks, the mainstream press and auction houses, the movement conjures up in the collective imagination a form of bad, kitsch and harmless pop art. On the other hand, Pablo Tomek comes from graffiti, a cryptic, sneaky, risky and clandestine approach. As a primitive gesture of painting, writing and signing is an integral part of Pablo Tomek’s work. Scribbles for some, calligraphic masterpieces for others, Tomek’s signatures flirt with illegibility, in an unstable balance between inscription, figuration and abstraction. His tags become mosquitoes, boats, corals; they crush, expand, flatten or lengthen. They can be grandiloquent, timid, advancing or retreating, depending on the state of mind of the writer, his tools or the nature of his support. Through hundreds of film and digital photographs, video stills and drawings, Guten Tag bears witness to a selection of vandal inscriptions made between 2019 and 2023 by Pablo Tomek, in Paris and elsewhere. The memories of these deliberate defacements are extended by a series of poems by Skubb.” Rotolux Press

Guten Tag (German for Hello) by TOMEK is a massive, 384-paged tome solely focusing on tags. Each page consists of a single photograph or sheet of paper with writings on it. The smaller paper scribbles make a harsh contrast to the often supersized tags he executes in the streets during daytime. The photographs document the actions as well as the outcome and in some cases the reaction of bystanders.

Unlike the logo-like tag that many writers develop and repeat over decades, the PAL crew member obviously experiments with each new signature, whether it’s executed with Ultrawide cans, oil chalk markers, or racked spraycans from hardware stores. The gigantic size of many of the shown works lift the usual everyday tag up within the hierarchy of graffiti works: TOMEK’s handstyle signatures seem to become fullbodystyle pieces. While being successful as an artist with international exhibitions it is refreshing to see that he still keeps being active in the streets, perfectly merging both parts.

384 pages, 22 x 28,5 cm, softcover
Language: French
Release date: October 2023
Publisher: Rotolux Press

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