Angel Otero- Solo exhibition, CAM Raleigh
July 12, 2012
October 19, 2012-February 4, 2013
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.
Catalogue to be Released October of 2012