CAM RALEIGH PRESENTS NEW ARTWORKS BY ANGEL OTERO Museum Premiere
On view October 19, 2012 through February 4, 2013
Raleigh, July 2012— 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, opens 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.”
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.