Puerto Rican artist Ángel Otero has only just completed his M.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and he is quickly becoming a rising star in the international art scene. A series of unexpected events has marked his artistic trajectory. In 2007, he won the Union League Club Award in Chicago. Then he was chosen by his school to participate in the Chicago Art Fair, after which a reporter from the Chicago Sun Times spoke highly of his work. Later, he was offered representation by various international galleries. He recently participated in the International Fair of Contemporary Art [Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, ARCO] in Spain, where he was represented by the Leyendecker Gallery (based in the Canary islands), and all of his pieces were sold on the first day. The same happened in the Circa 09 convention in Puerto Rico, where he was represented by Walter Otero Gallery. Now, he has just won the Leonore Annenberg in the Performing Arts Foundation Scholarship, which granted him $150,000 to support his post-graduate career for the next two years.
In an interview by Leyra E. González Pérez, the 27 year-old artist expresses his amazement being thrown into the limelight so unexpectedly and says that he is stunned that now “everyone is talking about me.” Indeed, the artist is now featured in numerous articles, and newspaper and magazine covers, and is the latest conversation topic for curators, collectors, gallery owners, and art crtitics around the world. Speaking of the prestigious scholarship he has just received, Otero says that he would have never believed that “they would give the award to a Puerto Rican artist from Bayamón.”
Interviewed by Brian Sherwin, Otero explains that in his pictorial work, “abstraction and my experience growing up back home, where I was surrounded by mountains and creativity in a poverty stricken area, play a big role.” He tributes the landscape that surrounded him as he grew up with inspiring him to create abstract structures that look dense but fragile, and are full of color and texture.
For full interview with Leyra E. González Pérez (in Spanish), see http://www.elnuevodia.com/haceunanotodoeradistinto-569983.html
For full interview with Brian Sherwin (in English), see http://dennismatthews.blogspot.com/2008/09/angel-otero.html
Image of “Compressed City” (oil on canvas, 2007) from http://www.re title.com/exhibitions/archive_BucketRider1412.asp
4 thoughts on “Ángel Otero, from Bayamón to the International Art Scene”
I am thrilled that Angel won the fabulous prize from the Annenberg Foundation. I am happy to say we gave him his first exhibition at the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago where he received great press from Alan Artner of the Chicago Tribune. We sold almost all his work. He is a lovely human being. I adore him.Hugs to you Angel. Lynn Kearney
Looking forward to seeing where Otero goes with this veyr exciting beginning.