Jorge Tacla

Born 1958, Santiago, Chile
Lives and works in New York, USA and Santiago, Chile

By Isabella Ellaheh Hughes
Chilean artist Jorge Tacla is recognised for his mixed-media paintings that comment on contemporary events with an emphasis on the aftermath and memory of catastrophes. Images of haunting ruins and layered, architectural elements are recurring themes his paintings. Tacla witnessed both the attacks on the Palacio de la Moneda in Chile on September 11, 1973 and the attacks of the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001, which have both influenced his practice and worldview. In Hidden Identity no.31 a blurry rendering of a man carries a victim from a scene of violence and destruction. The application of cold wax on many of Tacla’s oil painting echoes the appearance human skin and references the bodily presence of the victims he documents. As cold wax also holds a constant humidity it remains sensitive to movement—to the bodies of visitors—and vulnerable to abrasion. Tacla studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes, Universidad de Chile in Santiago and moved to New York in 1981 and has exhibited internationally including the 55th Venice Biennale, Dublin Contemporary and Sharjah Biennial 10 in 2011.