Tabboo! (Stephen Tashjian, b. 1959, Leicester, MA) is a multidisciplinary performer, designer, and artist with a fascination for celebrity, cityscapes, and the aesthetics of the everyday. Coming to prominence at the heart of New York City’s drag scene in the 1980s, Tabboo!’s work holds a diaristic impulse that has ranged from the visuals of nightlife to idyllic scenery. Portraits of friends, still lifes, and work related to current political opposition populates the artist’s oeuvre, rendered sparkling and bittersweet with a striking honesty. Tabboo! has performed extensively, created murals for public projects, designed flyers, album covers, and collaborated with fashion designers.

His work is held in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Fine Art Houston, Texas.

Tabboo!’s work is currently on display in Get Lifted!, organized by Hilton Als, at Karma. Tabboo! will mount a dual exhibition at Karma and Gordon Robichaux in 2022.

Single work, Tabboo!

Born 1959, Worcester, Massachusetts

Lives and works in New York



BFA, Massachusetts College of Art


Exchange student at The Edinburgh College of Art, United Kingdom

Selected Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions


Karma and Gordon Robichaux, New York (forthcoming)


Karma and Gordon Robichaux, New York, Tabboo! 1983-1988


Gordon Robichaux, New York, Garden, Elisabeth Kley & Tabboo!


Gordon Robichaux, New York, World of Tabboo! Early and Recent Work


Howl! Happening, New York, TABBOO! New Paintings


Participant Inc., New York, The Nightingale


Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York


Rupert Goldsworthy Gallery, New York


Wooster Gardens, New York, Tabboo! Paintings


Tricia Collins Grand Salon, New York, Tabboo!

Rupert Goldsworthy Gallery, Berlin, Berlin Welcomes Tabboo!

Allez les Filles, Columbus, Ohio, A Kiss of Spring in the Dead of Winter


Tom Cugliani Gallery, New York, Tabboo!

Papi Luis Cafe, New York, Small Spring Paintings on Paper


Big Drop, New York, Paintings by Tabboo!


Valorie Furlano Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island


Limbo Gallery, New York, The Glitter Paintings


ABC No Rio, New York

Lucky Strike Gallery, New York


11th Hour Gallery, Boston

Selected Group Exhibitions


Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 11

Massimo de Carlo, VSpace, Some Art That Got Me Through 2020, curated by Rob Pruitt


Karma, New York, (Nothing but) Flowers

Jewish Museum, New York, We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz

Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles, By Appointment

Provincetown Arts Society, Massachusetts, Intimate Companions, organized by Joe Sheftel

Parker Gallery, Los Angeles, A Page From My Intimate Journal, Part II–

Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles, Heaven and Hell, organized by Seth Bogart and Jess Scott


Grey Art Gallery, New York University; Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida;

Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989

The Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia, The Artist as Muse; Self-Portraiture in Contemporary Art

Western Exhibitions, Chicago, Pure ‘Joy’, organized by INVISIBLE EXPORTS

Herald St., London, Condo London

Johannes Vogt, New York, Summer of ’82, organized by Dan Cameron


Participant Inc., New York, Breaking Wave

Alberta Merola Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts, HEADTOHEAD


Museum of Modern Art, New York, Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983

White Columns, New York, White Columns Benefit Auction

Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, Flaming June VII (Flaming Creatures)

Collette, Paris, Candy Magazine at Colette, organized by Luis Venegas


Shoot the Lobster, New York, Charmed

University Galleries, University of Nevada, Reno, Tomorrow’s Man, organized by Jack Pierson

Launch F18, New York, Inside the Episodee, organized by Jack Pierson

Howl! Happening, New York, Secrets of the Great Pyramid


Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, A Drawing Show


Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dead Flowers

Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts, Night


Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Familiar Feelings. On the Boston Group

Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, Out of Order, organized by Scott Hug


JGM Galerie, Paris, French Kiss, organized by Rob Wynne


Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, the Name of This Show Is Not: Gay Art Now, organized by Jack Pierson


The Migros Museum für Gegenwartskuns, Zurich, The Future Has a Silver Lining. Genealogies of Glamour

New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, East Village USA


Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York, Surreal Estate, organized by Jonathan Horowitz and Rob Pruitt


Allez les Filles, Columbus, Ohio, Summer 1996


Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston, The Boston School, organized by Lia Gangitano

UFO Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts, Flowers


Four Walls, Brooklyn, That Obscure Object of Desire, organized by Dan Cameron and Marilla Palmer

Leslie Lohman, New York, Diamonds, Gold, Myrhh

P.S.122 Gallery, New York, Fierce N.Y.

White Columns, New York, White Columns Benefit Auction

Marshall Arts Studios, Memphis, Tennessee, Fierce N.Y.

L’école des Beaux-Arts, Lorient, Brittany, France, Le Temps D’un Dessin

24 Hours for Life Gallery, Pride in Our Diversity, organized by Ronny Cohen, New York

450 Broadway Gallery, New York, Open Book, organized by Larry Krone


Tom Cugliani Gallery, New York, Saint in the City, organized by Jack Pierson

Tom Cugliani Gallery, New York, Daniel Ibanez, Dan McCarthy, Stephen Tashjian

Leslie Lohman Gallery, New York

Barbara Braathen Gallery, New York, Urban Analysis, organized by Maynard Monrow

Tom Cugliani Gallery, New York, Summer Drawing Show


Tom Cugliani Gallery, New York, Some People, organized by Jack Pierson


The New Museum, New York, with Gran Fury and Annie Sprinkle
St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, From Desire…A Queer Diary, organized by Nan Goldin
PS122 Gallery, New York


Artists Space, New York, Witness: Against our Vanishing, organized by Nan Goldin
The New Leonard Beach Hotel, Miami, Interpretations


598 Broadway Gallery, New York, Pure Joy, organized by Hebe Joy


ASYLUM, New York, A Slice of Life


Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, Painting and Sculpture Today
Limbo gallery, New York, Art as Theater… …Theater as Art, Act I


Pat Hearn Gallery, New York
Limbo Gallery, New York, Theatre as Art


ABC No Rio, New York, the edge


Piezo Electric, New York, 29 Artists from The Lower East Side


Artists Space, New York, Witness: Against our Vanishing, organized by Nan Goldin


Museum of Modern Art, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Museum of Fine Art Houston, Texas



Tabboo! 1982-88
Text by Jarrett Earnest
Gordon Robichaux/Karma Books, New York
140 pages, hardcover
11 1⁄4 × 10 1⁄2 inches