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
NO!art involved Artists: ARMENTO + BAJ + BARATELLA + BECHER + BROWN + BRUNET + BRUS + CHORBADZHIEV + D'ARCANGELO + DAYEN + DE RUVO + EHM-MARKS + ERRO + FABRICIUS + FISHER + GATEWOOD + GEORGES + GERZ + GILLESPIE + GILMAN + GOLDMAN + GOLUB + GOODMAN + HALLMANN + HASS + HJULER + KAPROW + KIRVES + KUSAMA + KUZMINSKY + LEBEL + LEVITT + LONG + LST + LURIE + MASTRANGELO + MEAD + MESECK + PATTERSON + PICARD + PINCHEVSKY + RAMSAUER + RANCILLAC + ROUSSEL + SALLES + SALMON + SCHEIBNER + SCHLEINSTEIN + STAHLBERG + STUART + TAMBELLINI + TOBOCMAN + TOCHE + TSUCHIYA + VOSTELL + WALL + WOLF + WOYTASIK + ZOWNIR
NO!art has continued way beyond 1964 and also prior to 1958. The "cutting-off" date 1964, as espoused by the art historian is entirely artificial. Such cutting-off dates are common to art historians, done for cataloguing purposes, and what is more, for accreditation of monetary value in the art market. The cutting-off dates also have a devastating effect on the production of artists, who are, by those means, being convinced that what they produce after a cutting-off date is secondary in importance, and do not belong any longer to the "new times". Yet the art market hated it, for practical reasons of creating confusion about monetary value. That is the main and real reason for art historians and critics insisting on this untrue measure. - Boris Lurie, 2003.