Rodrigo Canala
Rodrigo Canala (Santiago, 1972). Artist living and working in Santiago, Chile. He holds the degree of Master of Arts majored in Visual Arts from the UCh, Santiago; a degree of Licentiate in Fine Arts from UFT, Santiago; and studied architecture at UVM, Viña del Mar, Chile. He has exhibited his work in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Korea, Chile, Spain and the United States highlighting the following: Deco, Galería Patricia Ready, Santiago (2012)*; Analogía de los contrarios, Sala de Arte CCU (2012-2011); Traveling light: five artists from Chile, AMA, Washington, D.C. (2011); La oscura vida radiante, CeAC, Santiago (2011); Indios verdes, MNBA, Sala de Arte Mall Plaza Vespucio, Santiago y Mall Plaza Trébol, Concepción (2012-2011); Diamante hueco, Galería Tajamar, Santiago (2011)*; Señas, bordes, vacíos, Galería YONO, Santiago (2011)*; Destellos negros, Galería Centro, Talca (2011)*; Contaminaciones contemporáneas, MAC USP, Sao Paulo (2010); Material ligero: five artists from Santiago, Chile travelling light, VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne (2009); Suite-Patrón, Galería Die Ecke, Santiago (2007)*; Stgo/Bog/Stgo. Envío de arte contemporáneo chileno, Galería Valenzuela Klenner, Bogotá (2007); 5ª Bienal de artes visuales. Utopías de bolsillo, MNBA, Santiago (2006); Arte contemporáneo chileno. Desde el otro sitio/lugar, MAC, Santiago y NMCA, Seúl (2006-2005); Edén, Galería Artespacio, Santiago (2004)*. He also has received several awards including: nominee for Beca AMA, Gasworks International Residency Programme (Inglaterra, 2011, 2010); nominee for Premio Altazor de las Artes Nacionales (Chile, 2007); Fondart, CNCA (Chile, 2009, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2000, 1999); Beca Amigos del Arte (Chile, 1999). In parallel, he teaches in different undergraduate art schools. He is also co-founder of Taller BLOC, Chile, an studio for production, education and promotion of visual arts (

In my work, which is generally volumetric and occasionally graphic, I mostly use “ignoble”, ordinary or inexpensive materials (electric bulb, metallic glitter, chipboard, graph paper, spray paint, domestic dust). Through beautifying processes, these materials achieve a delicate and illusory appearance. Often, my works are accompanied by electric and/or electro-mechanical devices that give them a mobility that emphasizing such illusionism.

On the one hand based on local popular iconography (pastiche architecture, television set decorations, kermis or trashy aesthetics) and on the other hand, on artistic references such as op-art, kinetic art, abstract and constructivist art, I apply designs and patterns that are usually geometric and decorative (fences, garlands, flourishes, sparkles). Ultimately, the works reveal their structural frugality and precariousness, even though they have a certain ornamental ostentation; they are fully and ironically exposed and yet, at the same time, they are objects of seduction and contemplation.

I believe my work generates in the spectator a combination of stillness and expectation, or what I have called an “optical inertia”. It is captivating, hypnotic and “beautiful”, and at the same time a provocative or threatening image that, in the end, conceals a parody-like criticism of contingency that tends towards spectacle and exclusion that is manifest not only in the everyday and the mass media but also in art itself.