The Radar: Tabboo!

Tabboo! at his exhibition 'Cityscapes' at Karma New York. Photo courtesy the artist.

  • Mar 18, 2022

For this edition of The Radar—‘Ursula’ magazine’s unconventional cultural recommendations from our friends and colleagues around the world— we spoke with multidisciplinary performer, designer, artist and downtown fixture Tabboo! (a.k.a. Stephen Tashjian), whose two-venue exhibition of cityscape paintings is now on view in New York at Gordon Robichaux and Karma.

I chose a YouTube video that I just stumbled upon that I can’t stop watching. Call me crazy, but I am STILL a mega Celine Dion fan!! She has been out of commission lately, due to some health issues. But in 2019, right before everything shut down for the pandemic, she performed resplendently at Centre Vidéotron in Quebec:

It’s a complete emotional multimedia entertainment extravaganza!! Rising from the mammoth stage floor in front of projected black-and-white films of her from years ago, when she was much younger and healthier, she performs underwater ballet in diaphanous bolts of fabric, wearing a sumptuous white gown reminiscent of a wedding cake gone wild!! She courageously sings her biggest international hit, ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ for the first time since the passing of her husband and mentor, René Angélil.

More than 24 years after she recorded it, she can STILL hit the notes, and maturity brings a deeper, incredibly powerful take on the song. All the while she dances poetically, moving her arms to every twist and turn that the melody inspires. What can I say? I’m TABBOO! I’m gay … and once a queen always a queen. So there you go. That’s my cultural advice for today. Put away your preconceived notions and revel in the luxury that is CELINE DION LIVE AT CENTRE VIDEOTRON @ YOUTUBE!!!!

Tabboo!’s dual solo exhibition, Cityscapes, is currently on display at Karma and Gordon Robichaux in New York.