Born in England just south of London, Alexander Tobey spent most of his early life as an itinerant traveler; a trait largely ingrained in him by his father who served in the military. He did however move back to London to attend the Chelsea School of Art, but found his time there frustrating and he soon left after feeling that the school’s teaching of the classical techniques and skills of what he calls The Old Masters left much to be desired.
Unsure of where to channel his creative energy next, he spent the next three years pursuing a career in music by mastering the drums. He credits this period with helping him to get the rhythm, energy, and concentration that he now uses in his artistic endeavours.
Mr. Tobey moved to Italy to further his education and passions in Florence, and under the tutelage of the much revered Charles H. Cecil; one of the only remaining classical ateliers in the world. It was here he learnt of the sight-size method, a portrait technique used extensively by John Singer Sargent and his contemporaries. He trained with Mr. Cecil for three years, acquiring the rare skills he had so craved, and it was ultimately this period which changed his perception of the design and aesthetic of painting as it gave birth to the idea of finding form through shadow.
On a referral from Cecil, he changed studios and began to attend the Studio della Statua. Tobey enrolled in a sculpture program initiated in Florence that incorporated the classical way French modelling technique. On the advice of his new tutor Jason Arkles, that working in three dimensions would benefit his painting and his studies of anatomy; he took up, and in the process, further developed his love and aptness for sculpture and all hand-crafted works of art.
Upon completion of this leg of his studies, he recently opened his own studio in Florence where he has been working for the last two years on developing his ideas for the re-introduction of classical training and technique in a new style. Alexander Tobey aspires to construct installations and large scale works for gardens and open spaces, and he is currently working on a collection of pieces for his first sculptural début. We strongly suggest you pay a visit to his studio at 14, Via di Santo Spirito, Firenze, Italy.