Angel Otero (b. 1981, Santurce, Puerto Rico; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) is a visual artist best known for his process-based paintings. While much of his works have been influenced by memories based in photographs and other family memorabilia combined with the gestures of 20th century painting, his latest works highlight the artist's unique process as a form of narrative in itself. Through his innovative process of oil paint scraping, Otero venerates historical oil painting while confronting it head on. Otero's 'deformation' approach to painting his works, first across glass and then once dry, flaying the dried paint and reconstructing the composition anew across large canvasses, is representative of how the artist perceives the process of reconfiguring both personal and historical narratives. Otero’s work sometimes uses process as a way of confronting deep, personal memories. Instead of 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.
Otero received his MFA in 2009 and his BFA in 2007 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY (2019); Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY (2017); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX (2016); Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain (2015); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2013); and Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC (2012). Select groups exhibitions and biennials featuring his work include The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art, Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL (2019); Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA (2019); Inherent Structure, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (2018); Surface Area, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2016); Nexo / Nexus: Latin American Connections in the Midwest, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL (2016); Fusion: Art of the 21st Century, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA (2014); 6th Prague Biennale (2013); El Museo Bienal The [S] Files, Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle, Queens Museum, New York, NY (2012) and El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY (2011), among others.
Otero is the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Visual Arts. His work is in numerous public and private collections including the Berezdivin Collection, Puerto Rico; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY; DePaul University Museum, Chicago, IL; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey; Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; UBS Art Collection, Chicago, IL; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.
Artist portrait: Photo by Elisabeth Bernstein