The old lansquenet is laughing at us
‘The old lansquenet is laughing at us,’ said Poussin, coming once more toward the supposed picture. ‘I can see nothing there but confused masses of color and a multitude of fantastical lines that go to make a dead wall of paint.’
‘We are mistaken, look!’ said Porbus...
Honoré De Balzac, The Unknown Masterpiece, 1845
Brand New Gallery is delighted to present Angel Otero’s first Italian solo show.
Renowned for his unconventional use of traditional materials, the artist is inspired by the history of art while also playing around with this notion. Even though his first works unveil a romantic approach, related to memory, Otero is not interested in narration: experience becomes the pretext for the construction of the work, a simple tool of creation that could handle any other object as starting point.
Influenced by the energetic gestures of abstract expressionism and by the Spanish baroque, Otero is fascinated by materials and by the processes of production. The artist develops his own technique by employing leftovers of his atelier: this singular practice begins with the application of pictorial layers on a piece of glass in reverse order, once the paint is half-dry the artist scrapes it off the surface in order to obtain an “oil skin”, a richly textured membrane which will be applied onto a new canvas. Otero voluntarily puts himself aside, prioritizing that variable procedure that stretches the limits of the material. We are dealing with a slow and contemplative process, which translates into an explosion of color that exalts the sinuousness of the drapes.
Born in 1981 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Angelo Otero quit his job as insurance agent in 2005 and moved to Chicago with a scholarship for the School of Art Insitute where he obtained an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in 2009. In the same year he received the prestigious prize Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing and Visual Arts. His works have been displayed in important collections, internationally recognized galleries and museum exhibitions including Constellations, curated by Rodriguez Widholm, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, the solo show Touch With Your Eyes at the Chicago Cultural Center and the New York Biennial 2011 at El Museo del Barrio. Last February he took part in the last edition of Istanbul ’74 and had his solo show New Works at the Raleigh Contemporary Art Museum. In 2013 his works will be exhibited at the Scad Museum of Art, Savannah.
He currently lives and works in New York.