From Chile to Rotterdam and back (1999) Jorge Kata Núñez

photo BKOR archive
About the artwork

In 1998, it was twenty-five years since the government of Salvador Allende in Chile was overthrown by General Pinochet. After the fall and death of Allende (1908-1973) many Chilean refugees came to the Netherlands. Among these refugees were many poets, musicians and artists. The Chilean painters' brigades made colorful indictments against injustice and deception in a clear visual language: sunny, poetic and pure. At the start of 1999, this episode from Chilean history was commemorated with exhibitions, debates and a festival. The work of the Chilean artist Jorge Kata Núñez was part of this. Kata made this painting on the initiative of Projectgroep Vluchtheuvel From Chile to Rotterdam and back. On the left is a friendly smiling Allende. In the center, a black horse gallops, symbolizing freedom and energy and referring to an untameable desire of hope and optimism. The horse treads over the Chilean flag, the white of which fades into the rays of the sun that floods the horizon with light. At the bottom right is a figure who sympathizes with the dictatorship and goes down in a gesture of shame. The mural was part of the exhibition 'Chileans in Rotterdam - 25 years after Allende'. The painting was applied to nursing home “De Leeuwenhoek”. This location has been chosen in consultation with the Aktiegroep Het Oude Westen and the Humanitas Foundation.

read more
About the artist

Jorge Kata Núñez (Valdivia, Chile, 1953) was a metallurgical worker. He started his artistic work in the Ramona Parra mural brigade in Valdivia. In 1974 he was arrested by the armed forces of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship and sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 1977 he is sent to the Netherlands and sentenced to 15 years of exile. In 1979 he founded and participated in various mural brigades. In that year he also went to the Free Academy of The Hague. In Rotterdam he took part in various graphic workshops and started to make his own work. He lived and worked in Rotterdam until October 2012, after which he returned to his hometown in Chile. Kata has made more than 60 murals throughout the Netherlands, both in public spaces and in buildings in the Netherlands and Chile. In the beginning he mainly painted murals that appealed to people's sense of solidarity. His paintings, linocuts, books and engravings have been exhibited in various countries.

read more
West-Kruiskade 54, 3014 AW Rotterdam, Netherlands


El Trotamundos

The journey

The blackbird is singing