My Art Guides, October 25, 2013
Locust Projects is pleased to announce that painter Angel Otero has been commissioned to create work for Art on the Move, part of the organizations' ongoing public commissions initiative.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review378.pdf
by Andrew M. Goldstein, Artspace, October 07, 2013
The Puerto-Rican born artist Angel Otero has emerged in the last few years as one of the most coveted painters of his generation, garnering wait lists of collectors who hope to acquire one of the edgily idiosyncratic canvases that, through a complex and time-consuming process, he endows with seductively billowing ripples and waves of paint. In advance of his new show at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, which debuted both a new series of paintings and a previously little-seen body of sculptures (one of which made an appearance at last year’s EXPO CHICAGO), we took a trip to the artist’s workmanlike studio in Bushwick to hear Otero explain his unique approach to the age-old medium of painting. Here’s what he had to say.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review370.pdf
by Sharon Butler, Two Coats of Paint, October 01, 2013
If Hipple is concerned with the feelings visited by life as we live it, the group show, styled “A Pinch of Saffron, Dash of Vermouth” and curated by Ted Gahl, focuses on the limits that artists impose on process and materials – and how artists exploit skill and technique to transcend those limits – another Casualist theme.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review369.pdf
by Christian Viveros-Faune, The Village Voice, September 18, 2013
Ruins are the remnants of man-made architecture: once-complete structures collapsed into timeworn bits through lack of upkeep or deliberate destruction. Think of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Tikal—or the burned carcass of 20th-century modernism, for that matter. A grandiose pile as dystopic as downtown Detroit, this last stone-cold junkyard yields green shoots for only a few of our era’s most persistent and inventive young artists.
One such figure is the painter Angel Otero, a creator whose second Manhattan show of frayed canvases and crumbled sculptures is currently on view at Leh-mann Maupin’s Chelsea space. A baby-faced 32-year-old who hails originally from Puerto Rico, Otero has matured from exotic painting prodigy into full-blown, locally sourced creative phenomenon.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review330.pdf
by Kathleen Massara, Huffington Post, September 12, 2013
Angel Otero is a Brooklyn-based artist who is known for his sculptural paintings that continue a dialogue with art historical themes while grappling with his own history and sense of self. On the eve of his show at Lehmann Maupin gallery in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, I spoke to the artist over the phone about his life, work, and latest exhibition entitled, Gates of Horn and Ivory.
KM: In your latest work, you combine porcelain and steel and take them both to their limit. What was an obstacle for you while creating these pieces?
AO: I'm more confident when it comes to two-dimensional works; sculpture transforms as you walk around it, so it changes as you view it. But part of the whole thing in the studio is I get myself into all these good problems.
Were you influenced by Picasso's ceramics at all?
I saw a lot of Picassos, Giacomettis, Baroque era work which I like a lot. Image wise, you just absorb everything and then you mix that with elements more personal. The gates [in Gates of Horn and Ivory] are gates from the house I grew up as a child. You start mixing all these things together, making this big-ass soup and see how they have a conversation or dialogue and react to each other.
Do you consciously put yourself in uncomfortable situations?
[Laughs] My work is very physical and having a physical relationship [with the work] is so important, and not just physically with my body, using paint, and making the objects, but also mentally.
At early college in Puerto Rico I met the Abstract Expressionists and I felt it so literally, it felt so physical -- a physical interaction with the medium. I love the process of making art but making art as a certain story or narrative - I got attached to that. Give me the brush, give me the paint and let me go.
Before attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, you were an insurance agent. How did your outlook change once you were able to make art full time?
I didn't trust art as a way of making money. Eventually I thought I needed to escape this reality I was living -- this regular job of selling insurance and going at night and painting. I couldn't sleep thinking of the possibilities of that.
Considering I had never felt snow in my life, and learning about artists like Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter - I had this contemporary art dialogue I wanted to be in, but instead of making whatever I felt like I had to recognize the moment I was living in art history and what could I do about it.
So what could you do about it?
You are doing something the art world needs in this moment, not what people are expecting. You go in the other direction so that instead of expecting it, [viewers] question themselves more.
Is changing your style terrifying, since so much is at stake?
I try not to let that affect my studio and my process. That's how my paintings came out - I knew it was something that was not rejecting the expectations about painting but I was questioning, kind of challenging it.
I like to step into these weird problems with myself. These sculptures are so problematic for me. They start from such a personal departure, but I don't like the personal to be apparent in the work, so I obscure and re-obscure so it's in another place from where it started from.
For me it's so private; I'm shy about certain subjects relating to my personal life, although I use them as excuses to make art.
Let's talk about Catholicism. In your latest work, the materials suffer; they are squished and constrained.
I think there's a certain suffering [in my work]. This idea as you as a creator is so powerful. The idea of perfection is different for every artist, it comes from deep-ass suffering. You deliver yourself completely to art, almost like you do to a family. You are completely devoted to making this thing to change the world.
Which is why you are directly involved in the making of your art.
My work is definitely very personal. Nowadays we have many incredible artists but they're studio artists. I'm a person who likes my hands dirty. The work has to have energy and the belief I bring to it. I have to be submerged in the art making. I grew up Catholic so I have these weird religious references, but I don't do it because of a religious message -- I just had it all around me when I was young. A lot of my work is about the materiality of memory.
I have a great collection of wooden saints and objects I collect. I enjoy having them close by; I feel kind of safe. I go back to the idea of home, but with art I don't feel that safe, to be honest.
I love painting, that's what I do the most, but I think stepping into uncomfortable grounds is very important in art making.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review323.pdf
by John Varvatos, Modern Luxury Manhattan, June, 2013
Fashion may be his trade, but rock'n'roll is in his genes- menswear designer John Varvatos shares a few of his favorite things.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review307.pdf
by Ashton Cooper, Blouin ArtInfo, June 13, 2013
The work of 32-year-old Puerto Rican abstract painter Angel Otero has sold out at Lehmann Maupin’s Art Basel booth. Recent works from 2013, on view at the fair, sold for $35,000 – $40,000 each to European collectors, while another Otero painting, not on view at Basel, sold to an unnamed French foundation for $40,000, according to a gallery representative. Otero’s process-based oil paintings have been gaining steam since he graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Lehmann Maupin has been building a global profile for Otero over the past year with showings of his work in places as diverse as Hong Kong, Milan, North Carolina, India, and Turkey. The artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery’s New York space is planned for this September.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review286.pdf
Art&Education, May 16, 2013
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) presents Material Discovery, the first large-scale exhibition of paintings by artist Angel Otero in Asia, at SCAD Hong Kong’s Moot Gallery. Curated by SCAD chief curator Isolde Brielmaier, PhD, the exhibition debuted in February 2013 at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia as part of the university’s deFINE ART program. Material Discovery will be on view May 20 through August 23, 2013 at Moot Gallery, 292 Tai Po Road, Sham Shui Po.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review271.pdf
by Meghan Bailey, 5 Minutes with Artist Angel Otero , March 01, 2013
“I’ve always liked the physicality of paint,” says the artist Angel Otero, who transforms liquid material into thick-yet-elegant layers, or “oil skins,” as he calls them. While still in grad school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Puerto Rico-born Otero was already showing his work in galleries. “I’ve been really lucky,” says the New York-based artist, 31, who folds, builds, and collages his layers on to canvas to highly sculptural effect. His latest works, inspired by the 17th century French painter Nicolas Poussin (“I’m always in a dialogue with painting and its history,” he says), are on view at the Savannah College of Art Design Museum of Art, in Georgia, where W caught up with him.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review244.pdf
by Tamara Warren, Life + Times, March 01, 2013
When Angel Otero was growing up in Bayamón, Puerto Rico he dreamed of moving to New York to live as an artist. “I wanted to some day be in a studio in an old factory with my paintings around and see the city of New York from my window. That was a major dream for me,” he says, with an easy grin on his face. “Now I’m pretty much living it; it’s awesome.”
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review245.pdf
New Americans Paintings Blog, February, 2011
It’s February now, which means plenty of snow and plenty of new shows opening this month. The editorial staff at New American Paintings have put together a list of more than 65 of the top painting exhibitions on view at private galleries across the country in February—from New York to Los Angeles, Houston to Chicago, Atlanta, and more—including more than a dozen shows from artists previously included in New American Paintings and featuring more than 50 notable and not-to-be-missed shows from across the country.
EDITORS PICK - Angel Otero, February 17 – April 10, 2011, Lehman Maupin;
EDITOR’S PICK - Claire Sherman, February 19 – March 26, 2011, Kavi Gupta Gallery
by Chris Vitiello, Indy Week, January 2, 2013
Frankly, my guard was up for Angel Otero: New Works at CAM Raleigh. At first glance, I took Otero’s paintings for a generic imitation of Abstract Expressionism. But the New York-based artist turns out to be neither strictly abstract nor strictly expressionist. In fact, his paintings and sculptures are a shot across the bow of young, contemporary artists who nestle into emotionally vague abstraction and process-obsession while they wait for an idea to come along.
Some subtle exploration is going on in the eight sculptures and five paintings of New Works, Otero’s first museum show. The paintings—for which Otero layers oils on glass, peels off the half-dry paint skin, affixes it glass-side out to a canvas, and then pleats, scars and paints that surface—are visually homogeneous and lack figuration. The sculptures are of tangled and charred black metal, with handfuls of ceramic clay wadded on and roughly glazed before firing. A viewer’s eyes dart all over these works, searching in vain for a defining characteristic.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review224.pdf
by Angel Otero, Modern Painters, January 2013
This painting is based on nicolas poussin’s Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. For the past few months, i’ve been taking poussin as a straight reference and reproducing some of his paintings in the process of making my own. This one is huge, about 6 feet high by 8 feet long. To make it, i began copying the poussin in oil paint onto a large glass plate. I also added gestural marks over the areas that had already been painted, and then i went back and on top of those marks i painted some of the people in the poussin—i go back and forth, layering representational painting and abstract marks.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review226.pdf
Mousse Magazine, December 20, 2012
‘The old lansquenet is laughing at us,’ said Poussin, coming once more toward the supposed picture. ‘I can see nothing there but confused masses of color and a multitude of fantastical lines that go to make a dead wall of paint.’
‘We are mistaken, look!’ said Porbus…
Honoré De Balzac, The Unknown Masterpiece, 1845
Renowned for his unconventional use of traditional materials, Angel Otero is inspired by the history of art while also playing around with this notion. Even though his first works unveil a romantic approach, related to memory, Otero is not interested in narration: experience becomes the pretext for the construction of the work, a simple tool of creation that could handle any other object as starting point.
Influenced by the energetic gestures of abstract expressionism and by the Spanish baroque, Otero is fascinated by materials and by the processes of production. The artist develops his own technique by employing leftovers of his atelier: this singular practice begins with the application of pictorial layers on a piece of glass in reverse order, once the paint is half-dry the artist scrapes it off the surface in order to obtain an “oil skin”, a richly textured membrane which will be applied onto a new canvas. Otero voluntarily puts himself aside, prioritizing that variable procedure that stretches the limits of the material. We are dealing with a slow and contemplative process, which translates into an explosion of color that exalts the sinuousness of the drapes.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review222.pdf
by Luigi, Luigi+Bonfanti Blog, December 1, 2012
Ci sono artisti di talento, molti di loro promettenti, altri sicuramente interessanti. E poi ci sono i predestinati. Quegli artisti cioè che ti regalano un’emozione al primo sguardo di una loro opera. Ecco, uno di questi è Angel Otero, artista poco più che trentenne, nato a Puerto Rico ma che vive a New York, e che ha già collezionato nel breve giro di qualche anno, mostre e riconoscimenti da far invidia a qualunque artista.
Rinomato per l’utilizzo anticonvenzionale di materiali tradizionali, l’artista trae ispirazione ma nel contempo gioca con la storia dell’arte. Nonostante dai suoi primi lavori traspaia un approccio romantico e legato alla memoria, Otero non è interessato alla narrazione: l’esperienza diventa un pretesto per la costruzione dell’opera, un semplice strumento della creazione che potrebbe avere come punto di partenza un qualsiasi altro oggetto.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review211.pdf
by Christopher Howard, ArtForum, November 18, 2012
Like Gerhard Richter’s squeegee, Roy Lichtenstein’s Ben-day dots, and Julian Schnabel’s crockery, Angel Otero’s novel painting technique has allowed him to refine an inimitable style. CAM Raleigh presents five of these signature works—all abstract—in which the artist layers oil paint onto a plate-glass or Plexiglas support before scraping off the accumulating “skins,” as he calls them, and collaging them onto a canvas, letting the thickened medium ripple, sag, and wrinkle, marvelously, across the cotton surface.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review194.pdf
Artdaily.org, November 2, 2012
RALEIGH, NC.- CAM Raleigh’s latest Independent Weekly Gallery Emerging Artist Series exhibition by Angel otero is a museum premiere of new works and the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. The exhibition, consisting primarily of new artworks including never-been-exhibited sculpture made from steel and porcelain, opened October 19, 2012.
CAM Raleigh Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder says, “The history of painting is over 4,000 years old. In that time, art historians can point to only a handful of moments when an artist created a new process for creating visual art with pigment and Angel has cemented himself into that historical discussion with methods that push the limits of painting. We also have an amazing example of otero’s new work on loan from local collector and North Carolina Museum of Art director Larry Wheeler.”
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review192.pdf
CAM Raleigh, July 9, 2012
Otero’s painting process is anything but conventional—he spends as much time working with dried paint as wet. Otero begins by applying layers of oil paints on a piece of glass in reverse order. Once the paint is half-dry he scrapes it off the glass and applies the richly textured oil-skin surface to a canvas. The resulting compositions reveal surprising bursts of color and produce unexpected wrinkles in Otero’s imagery. “I can control about fifty percent of the end result,” Otero says. “But those limitations and the uncertainty are what spark the dialogue that I aim for.”
Although Otero’s canvases and assemblages take cues from Georg Baselitz, Philip Guston, and Willem de Kooning, with a nod to the Spanish Baroque, he has also drawn on his familial relationships and life in his native Puerto Rico, which he left at the age of 24 to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He’s been always intrigued by process and initially came to his current technique by recycling paint in order to save money and resources while in art school. He would scrape the paint off works he was dissatisfied with and add it to a growing mountain of remnant oil paint. Eventually, he started to form the clumps into flower shapes and spray paint them silver, which on the canvas created the illusion of working with tin foil. For his new work, Otero has left behind any formal relationship he had with objects and is purely focused on stretching the limits of the material.
Otero’s approach has been attracting attention since his days at art school. Having honed his technique with confidence, he is able to keep experimenting—both with painting and his second love, sculpture—producing works that are meaningful in both appearance and form.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review162.pdf
by Zaira Arslan, Indian Express, March 29th, 2012
On a shimmering gold dining table with a single visible chair, sit a vase with flowers in it, a teapot and some other pieces of crockery. All of these are also a brilliant gold, immediately attracting the viewer's attention and keeping it there. It's almost hard not to imagine kings and queens sitting at this table with a lavish spread before them.
This is, however, not an image from a fancy fairy tale, but a painting titled Leftovers from among Angel Otero's latest works. This and a number of other recent works-some created especially for the show- are on display at Galerie Isa, Fort, for Otero's first show in India....
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review139.pdf
by Features Team, MidDay, March 25th, 2012
Works of Angel Otero, a Puerto Rican artiste based in New York, will be on display at the Galerie Isa from March 30 to June.
Galerie Isa is hosting it's second international art exhibition in Mumbai, which will showcase the works of Angel Otero – a Puerto Rican artist based in New York. Otero's work is heavily influence by his life in Puerto Rico and his relationships with his family members.
Otero's work sometimes uses his work
to confront deep, personal memories. Instead of merely representing his life through art, he archives moments within it by creating opportunities of surprise and discovery. His work is a constant negotiation between the individual and art history.
The opening night will see some artworks on display which are dedicated to international art. Otero's painting process is conventional and has a broad appeal. He uses the technique of applying layers of oil paints on glass in reverse order. He scraps it off the glass once it has half-dried.
Then he applies the richly textured oilskin surface to a canvas. The result is a burst of colour and produces, unexpected wrinkles in Otero's imagery.
The show has been arranged through his New york gallery, Lehman Maupin. After the Mumbai show, Otero is planning to prepare for two museum shows in June and October.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review138.pdf
by In Culture, CoolHunting.com, February 16, 2012
As soon as you enter Puerto Rican artist Angel Otero's Brooklyn work loft, the intense smell of paint nearly stops you at the door. Shelves housing copious tubes of oil paint and rows of Montana spray cans lining the back walls allude to the strong odor, but it;s the stacks of work frying on wooden pallets surrounding the space that are really the culprit. But the extraordinary aroma is actually the upshot to Otero's distinct artistic technique, one which involves an extensive process of building up layers of paint on plexiglass before methodically scraping them off. "I've always been intrigued by process,"......
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review132.pdf
by Chris Miller, New City Art, October 11, 2011
In 1845, J.M.W. Turner reportedly joked: “Indistinctness is my fault,” in response to an American collector who despaired finding many recognizable details in one of his atmospheric seascapes. In some of his magnificent swirls, nothing was recognizable at all. Was Turner an early Abstract Expressionist? Not if you distinguish the epic struggle of man against nature from the psychological struggle of self against the world. Curiously enough, a similar Romanticism has recently emerged simultaneously in the work of two painters now exhibiting work in adjoining galleries at 835 West Washington.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review126.pdf
by Meghan Daily, Modern Painters, May 2011
Otero's first One-person show, "Memento", is also his New York debut, but the painter is hardly an unknown art world quantity. Fresh out of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the precocious artist had exhibtion in 2009 and 2010of his abstractions and Spanish Baroque-inspired still lifes at Kavi Gupta Galelry and the Chicago Cultural Center. Continued...
by Merrily Kerr, Time Out New York, March 29, 2011
Angel Otero’s unconventional process—fashioning assemblages or lively paintings using “skins” of oil paint applied to glass before being peeled off—is the draw in his New York solo debut. An awkward anthropomorphic object perched on a chintzy armchair, messy Expressionist interiors in garish colors and one uninspired composition with text demonstrate the young artist’s competing sensibilities. Far better are Otero’s large-scale abstractions—action paintings in which paint itself seems to have agency, shooting off the edge of the canvas, bunching dramatically or seductively veiling its support.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review115.pdf
by Madison Moore, Art in America, March 7, 2011
Angel Otero's studio in industrial Ridgewood, Queens currently lies fairly empty. Sitting in the main workspace is a reduced-scale model of Lehmann Maupin's Chrystie Street gallery, complete with mockups. In one corner a few gold "oil skins," the artist's sheets of dried oil paint, drape atop a stool like the slough of a reptile. These are the remainders from "Memento," Otero's first solo show at Lehmann Maupin, currently open through April 17.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review112.pdf
by Benjamin Sutton, The L Magazine, February 16, 2011
How do you begin a painting?
The work starts from a very personal point. I'm using oil paint but in reverse, so I paint on glass, and I paint in a very traditional way with oil paint and brushes. After I'm done with the imagery or text we cover that with a whole layer of oil paint. And from there it goes to dry for a while and after a month or a few weeks we scrape it very slowly and it comes out with a really interesting texture. It's kind of like a transfer, because I also have to be thinking in reverse. In a traditional painting you paint a background, you paint a chair and you paint the model in the chair, and here I've got to paint the model, the chair and then cover that with the background. It's very challenging, which makes it really beautiful.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review111.pdf
by James Chad Hanna, Art + Auction, February 2011
Angel Otero spends as much time working with dried paint as wet. The Brooklyn-based artist, 29, who joined Lehmann Maupin last May, fashions the surfaces of his large expressionistic pictures and assemblages from “oil skins,” created by pouring oil paint onto glass, allowing it to dry, then peeling away the resulting sheets of color. He combines these skins with other materials—silicone, spray paint, and resin among them—on canvas but also sometimes applies them to furniture and frames. For his first solo show with the New York gallery, from February 17 through April 10, he is presenting new works with such inspirations as Surrealist literature, Latin American poetry, and Jean-Paul Sartre. “It’s fresh subject matter, but they still highlight the process he’s become known for,” says David Maupin. Although Otero’s canvases and assemblages can hint at Georg Baselitz, Philip Guston, and Willem de Kooning with a nod to the Spanish Baroque, he has also drawn on his familial relationships and life in his native Puerto Rico, which he left at the age of 24 to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. –JAMES CHAD HANNA
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review106.pdf
by Marina Cashdan, The Huffington Post, September 6, 2010
My inaugural Studio Visit is with a young artist named Angel Otero (b. 1981, Santurce, Puerto Rico). I was first introduced to Otero's work through his Chicago gallery Kavi Gupta. What drew me to his work was his sense of materiality and especially his unique use of what he calls "oil skins," paint that has been left to dry on plexiglass sheets, leaving an almost plastic-like sheet of dried pigments.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review98.pdf
by James Yood, ARTFORUM, April 2010
With the ebullience of youth - he's not yet thirty - Puerto Rican-born, Brooklyn-based Angel Otero fills old bottles with new wine, bringing innovative and dramatic formal strategies to bear on conventional formats and subjects
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review67.pdf
by Lauren Viera, Chicago Tribune, March 4, 2010
It's Armory Week. Falling on certain ears, this news conjures knights conferencing in gaggles, their heavy chain mail collectively clinking. But creative types know better: Armory Week is one of the biggest events of the year for visual artists.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review64.pdf
by Robin Dluzen, Art Ltd. Magazine, September/October 2013
In Chicago, some art collectors keep their ears to the ground, immersing themselves in gallery shows, alternative spaces, studio visits, and thesis exhibitions in order to bolster the best new talent within the sea of emerging artists living and working in the city. Others find their calling in stepping up to the plate, in lending to, and sponsoring, museum exhibitions of established artists, and backing the kinds of high-profile initiatives that garner the city national attention. Collectors Scott Hunter, and Linda and Paul Gotskind are each a bit of both. While Hunter primarily collects emerging artists, and the Gotskinds tend to acquire more well-known figures, both are realizing their roles as patrons in enhancing the cultural life of the city they call home.
Download PDF: KaviGupta_Review324.pdf