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Portrait Jean Toche, Photo: Dietmar Kirves 

JEAN TOCHE, born in Bruges on August 15th, 1932, in Bruges, Belgian. On March 11, 1959, he married the American Ballet Dancer / Broadway Performer  Virginia Poe. On July 5, 1965 he arrived in New York. In July 1970, he moved to Staten Island where he currently chronicles the ugly deeds of the Bush Administration with art works produced on a daily basis. He is involved in New York's radical political art scene from the 1960s on and was associated with the New York Destructive Art movement, the Artist Workers' Coalition, the Guerrilla Art Action Group (1969-1976; co-founded with Jon Hendricks), organized actions and happenings directly attacking and provoking the New Yorker art-establishment. These groups expressed public consciousness through happenings, written manifestos, publications. Toche’s defense wasn’t incendiary in itself, though the GAAG built its reputation on anti-war “happenings” inside museums, including one 1969 incident that ended with animal blood spewed all over the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art.

Where he got himself into trouble was this passage in the flyer’s text: "We now call for the kidnapping of: museum’s trustees, museum’s directors, museum’s creators, museum’s benefactors, to be held as war hostages until a People’s Court is convened, to deal specifically with the cultural crimes of the ruling class, and with decision of sanctions, reparation and restitution, in whatever form decided by the People and the Artists." Which was taken as a threat and led to his arrest.

Now Toche is working in political mail art under the title OF PISS@N'PUSS. Lives in Staten Island. He was found dead in his home by the police in the afternoon on July 9, 2018

2013  ARTE POSTALE | Academy of Fine Arts [Groupshow], Berlin

2010  INTOLERANCE | MUDIMA, Milano/Italy
           JEAN TOCHE | Mein Blau Projektraum, Berlin
           THE CULTURE OF FEAR | Mein Blau Projektraum, catalog, Berlin

2009  IMPRESSIONS FROM THE ROGUE BUSH IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY | Duke University
           JEAN TOCHE | John Hope Franklin Center, Durham/NC

2008  JEAN TOCHE | Weserburg - Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen
           THE IMPERTINENCE OF RAISING QUESTIONS | Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover

2007  JEAN TOCHE | Kunstverein Neuhausen/Germany
           JEAN TOCHE | Free Show, New York
           RENEGADES | Exit Art, New York

2006  BURN, BABY, BURN | artandgallery, Milano/Italy

2005  PAURA | artandgallery, Milano/Italy
           LEGAL/ILLEGAL | Kunstverein Neuhausen auf den Fildern

2004  LEGAL/ILLEGAL | NGBK, Berlin

2003  NO!art in BUCHENWALD | Boris Lurie, Catalogbook, Stuttgart
           Contribution:  I am a human being

2001  OUT OF PRINT | Museum Weserburg, Bremen/Germany

1997  CONFRONTATIONS | Printed Matter, New York

1988  NO!art anthology | Edition Hundertmark, Cologne

1970  TOWARDS A NEW HUMANISM | Essay

1968  I ACCUSE | dedicated to Marcel Broodthaers, Statement
           I ACCUSE | Gallery Le Zodiav, Brussels
           THE DESTRUCTION ART GROUP | Judson Gallery, New York

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