28.03.2014 – 13.04.2014
Triumph Gallery, Moscow
TARA! TARA! TARA!
Tara (van Neudorf) has Hungarian and Saxon roots, but "mostly he is Romanian", as he speaks the language of his mother, a Chemistry teacher from Neudorf in Transylvania. Neudorf means New Village. It was founded around 1300 and has 1,600 people. Tara, however, was born in Luduș, 60 miles to the north. One quarter of its 15,000 inhabitants are Hungarian. Before World War I, when the town was called Marosludas, two thirds of its population were Hungarian. Tara’s father was half-Hungarian, half-Romanian. And Tara’s great-grandfather was Saxon: a descendant of the German settlers invited to Transylvania by King Geza of Hungary in the 12th century. The Saxons stayed there for over eight hundred years, speaking German, building their own towns, and praying in their own churches. Ceaușescu sold 250,000 of them to West Germany for hard cash in the 1970s and ’80s. Since 1990 almost all the rest of the Saxons – around half a million – have left too.
Some people think I was born in Neudorf because of my name, but there aren’t even any birth centers there! We came back when I was about two. My father died when I was 3 and a half, leaving my mother with three little boys. She remarried when I was 7. My stepfather is Hungarian. They met in Moscow, as tourists! Then we moved from Neudorf to Sibiu, 6 miles away. Big mistake! Me and my brothers never learned to become city-slickers and always regretted being forced to leave our ancestral home. It left deep marks on our behaviour and relationship with the rest of the world. But we spent most of our holidays back in Neudorf, with horses, the forest, gypsies, the Last of the Saxon Mohicans…those were the times.
Simon Hewitt: "Tara is a rebel who sees wars as the greatest drama of humanity. He depicts the horrors of war — all wars!’ declares Jan de Maere, the internationally renowned Brussels picture-dealer who has a home in Daia (the next village to Neudorf) and has been collecting Tara’s works since 2009. ‘Through his art he constructs his own identity by his ceaseless revolt against this loss of values. His powerful graphic style conveys essential messages in a very aggressive way".