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.