Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

More often than not you can categorize an artist either by their studio practice or nationality. Santiago Taccetti defies both. Born in Argentina yet raised in Houston, Taccetti spent time as a teenager in both Mexico City and New York before relocating to Spain in the early millennium. Since 2011, however, Taccetti has called Berlin home. His artwork is even harder to describe: varying between painting, sculpture and installation, it’s no surprise than when he installed his latest solo show at Club Midnight he manipulated everything down to the carpet, which he installed himself. After Taccetti‘s exhibition “Bear Tries To Beat Heat” won me over, the gallery’s director Elda Oreto helped me set up an interview at the space so I could meet this artist who defies classification.

A Cold/Warm Home

Earlier this week I headed towards Club Midnight’s home in Schöneberg to interview the globetrotting artist. As I walked down Kurfürstenstraße in the frigid January air I thought how much I’d rather be meeting this Argentinean artist closer to his home. This, however, shows Berlin’s strength: despite the attractive environment of other art capitals, fascinating artists such as Tacetti are braving the cold to call this city home.

After finally entering Club Midnight’s charming (and warm!) exhibition space, I was greeted by Taccetti and his latest installation. By combining abstract paintings with the interior architectural dividers found in banks and malls, he has created an indefinable body of work. I was excited to hear from the man himself how these works came to be. He offered me a beer, we sat down, he lit a cigarette, and I listened.

santiago-4One of Santiago’s paintings painted on the back of glass at Club Midnight in Berlin. Photo: C Phillips

Taccetti has always been a man on the move, and that’s the way he likes it. One could argue that his artwork shifts just as much as his location does. Since in Berlin he has created decomposing rainbow paintings, a large glass cube filled with bright lights; he’s crowded a public storefront with smoke, and even installed a soap dispenser that gave guests whiskey at a bar. His latest work here is just as a dramatic departure. Featuring silicon paintings draped on metal railings, cloudy pieces of glass held by metal fasteners aligned in a row, and a couple of industrial ashtrays, it’s truly hard to put this show into words. Despite the diversity in aesthetics, Taccetti explains that there is a commonality within this body of work.

Fate As Medium


“Chance” he says, “For my work everything comes from the whole. The process just pops in.”

By allowing the paint to flow where it wants and allowing his art to be governed by outside forces, Taccetti is an artistic collaborator with his partner: fate. Whether it’s a heavy resin flowing to the ground or an exhibition visitor slurping whiskey from a soap dispenser, he doesn’t control the outcome; they do. In a similar way, Taccetti doesn’t intend on defining himself or his work for anyone else: he expects other people to do that for him. It’s appropriate that he sees Berlin as a perfect place for this seeming anonymity. Here, he explains, he’s no longer an artist from Argentina – he’s simply just an artist. 

  • Club Midnight – Santiago Taccetti “Bear Tries To Beat Heat” – Jan12th-March 9th, 2013, Wed – Satt, 3-7pm  [Prices vary from €1,000 to €2,000]
Article by James Shaeffer