Angel Otero Puerto Rico, b. 1981


Angel Otero is best known for his process-based paintings and deconstructive porcelain and steel sculptures. While early works have been influenced by memories of his early life in his native Puerto Rico, material and its physicality.


Otero has developed a “deformation” approach by first painting on glass and then, once dry, scraping the paint, as a skin, off the glass and draping and rearranging the material on canvas. With this process, Otero explores a reconfiguration of both historical and contemporary painting narratives, showcasing the physicality of the material beyond its historical use as an image-making medium. The paint becomes the subject of the painting.


Recent works in painting revisit previous interests in abstract image making, silicone, and powdered pigments. Calling the works his Transfer Series, Otero takes imagery from his personal history and distills it down to a line pattern, informed by traditional woodcut techniques. Following the lines with silicone and dusting the canvas with raw pigment, Otero transfers the images between canvases in an act that is simultaneously creative and destructive, forming new abstract images while the original is destroyed in the transfer.


Personal history and art history find a common ground in Otero’s practice, both acting as a genesis to his explorations of artistic medium. Otero received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He recieved the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Visual Arts. His work is included in the collections of the Berezdivin Collection, Puerto Rico; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY; DePaul University Museum, Chicago, IL; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey; Kemper Musem of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; UBS Art Collection, Chicago, IL; and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, among many other private and public collections.