Theo Tobiasse (1927-2012) was born in Israel of Lithuanian parents. His family relocated to Paris during his childhood. Paris had economic opportunity that the family desperately needed, but Theo felt very strange and alienated.
Between 1942 and 1944, the Nazis occupied Paris; they forced his family to hide in seclusion with the relentless fear of being found. Despite the external threats, Tobiasse found solace in his books and his drawings. When it was safe to leave their hiding spot, he had developed quite a portfolio.
His real-life experiences reflects his work. Tobiasse believes that these experiences have guided him to a place of fulfillment and tranquility. This is evident in his work though the application of textures and colors.
1950 found him living in Nice where he maintained his painting. His first exhibition in the Palais de le Mediterranean in 1961 where he won the grand prize. This experience validated his art skills to the point that he quite his other job and devoted all of his time to art.
Tobiasse gained more success and recognition during the 1960s. In 1970, he relocated into his home studio on Quai Rauba-Capeu; it overlooked the port of Nice. In 1976, he moved again to St. Paul-de-Vence where he had a newfound appreciation for both the sky of Jerusalem and that of Florence.
Nice is where he developed his pictorial expression into his own unique vision. Initially obscene and close to specific myths, his subjects swiftly emerged as memories of his childhood: buses that he had caught sight of on his journey to France, boats with wheels on the Nieman in Lithuania, tea kettles, the warmth of the fireside, the trains when he arrived in Paris at dawn, the smokiness of railway stations, etc.
Before his passing, Tobiasse divided his time between New York and St. Paul-de-Vence. His works have been exhibited throughout the western World and Japan.