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-maker. 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 new works his Transfer Series, Otero takes imagery from his personal history and distills the image 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, creating 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 the artist’s explorations of artistic medium. Otero received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Text courtesy Kavi Gupta.