Some people just arrange things better than others. The rest can improve through lessons in ikebana and like arts. I don’t know what training Catalina Tuca did or didn’t undertake, but her work of the past decade proves her to be profoundly more accomplished in this area than all but the most skilled painters of Dutch still lifes. (Or whoever it was that set up those flowers, dead animals and edibles before the master sat down at his easel.) Tuca doesn’t just position objects in meaningful compositions, she also finds them: in Medellin, Colombia; in the Mapocho neighborhood of Santiago; in the Suginami part of Tokyo. Maybe they come from the trash, maybe from thrift stores, maybe from donation—any which way, Tuca intuits how to put them together in a newly symbolic or aesthetic configuration that tells a story about the place from which they came. If only she’d come to my neighborhood one day, I’d like to know what it has to say.
—Lori Waxman 2020-02-01 9:57 PM