Santiago Taccetti likes to do things the wrong way. In fact, he has literally made an art of it. His new and first solo exhibition in the UK consists of a series of two-metre high white paintings. But far from manipulating the paint on the canvas in the way painters are supposed to do, Taccetti has produced paintings without paint.
His modus operandi is to pour a quantity of the paint on to the canvas which he has stretched inside out. The pouring is done in a random way straight from the can. Sometimes he uses a spatula to redistribute it a bit, sometimes he just leaves the paint as it has ended up.
He then says goodbye to his studio for three days so that when he comes back the paint has done what household paint is not supposed to do - dried, cracked and broken into small pieces. He flips the canvas over to discover, as in one of the untitled works above, that the canvas has become embossed with an abstract pattern that has a curiously serene beauty with plenty to fire the imagination.
"I don't consider my self a painter", Taccetti tells me in an unpretentious way. "It's all about the process, the technique. I consider it a collaboration with the material which is a very basic acrylic paint used for households. What I try to do is take things from our reality, from our normal life and see how I interact with them in a way that is maybe not the proper way to interact with them. So I do consider the paint to be even more than half the author of the piece."
For this reason, the metal frames of each work are engraved with the technical specifications of the paint taken from the can. It's a kind of signature. It's in German since Taccetti has been based in Berlin for the past four years. Until then he had lived in the United States from the age of three, having been born in Argentina.
His background is an academic one. He studied communication and sociology and came to art through collaborating with artists. His work has been seen throughout Europe, the United States and South America.
A constant theme is how our relationship with technology defines our social identity. He places it into a different context using everyday objects and materials that provoke ideas about the way we view contemporary culture.
"I try to find the good things and the supposedly bad things, to find the beauty in this system of mass production and how things are supposed to work. I try to move forward to find something different, moving forward instead of fighting against it so much. You take them and make them personal in some way. You create something personal from a mass-made thing."
The exhibition's title, ISO 9001, refers to the quality management system set by the International Organization for Standardization and used by companies to prove their ability to provide consistent products and services. Taccetti is, tongue in cheek, creating a new industry standard for artworks.
So what is the attraction of doing things the wrong way? He laughs. "Well, two things. First, I don't have the technique to do it the right way, and everything that happens in my studio happens wrong so I say ok, let's incorporate this in the process of the work so it doesn't work against me. I find more interesting things that are wrong and I always keep that frame of mind, that vision in my head."
With that in mind, he has included in the exhibition seven sculptures called Steinways (above) developed from the kind of ash trays you might find at bus stops and exterior public spaces. Once again, he has tried to make something personal out of the impersonal by adding material designed for a completely different purpose. He has coated them in a kind of pebble-dash plaster used for the facades of buildings but in a way that would give a builder nightmares, thick and mucky rather than flat and in one layer. He then paints them in a dark hue.
The effect is to offset the pristine purity effect of the white works and to emphasise that behind the random nature of their process and the resultant abstract patterns is a cogent rationale.
ISO 9001 runs at the Hus Gallery, 10 Hanover Street, London W1S 1YQ until 25 April.
All images are used with the permission of the gallery.