The Skin That Jorge Otero is In


Lidia Hernández Tapia (for Cuban Art News) reviews the work of Cuban artist Jorge Otero, presently an artist-in-residence at Residency Unlimited in New York. As part of his residency, Otero will talk about his work with curator Meyken Barreto in a public conversation next Tuesday evening, on August 28, 6:30pm, at Residency Unlimited (located at 360 Court Street, Brooklyn). Hernández Tapia writes:

From his studio in Midtown Manhattan, Jorge Otero traces guidelines onto the photograph that he will cut up to become the basis of his next work. The portrait is technically beautiful: a soft light falls on the naked torso of Adrian Clay, principal dancer of the New York City Ballet. But Jorge Otero finds beauty only in what his hands can put together, in the result that emerges from the pieces that have been cut out and returned to him, to be assembled with the patience and concentration of his hard-working hands.

We are late in Otero’s stay in the Residency Unlimited artists-in-residence program, which started in early July and will end in late August. With this residency, Otero joins the list of Cuban artists that this institution has brought to New York in recent years. As part of the program, the residency gives artists the opportunity to develop a piece of work work while becoming acquainted with curators, collectors, and art institutions in the city.

The photo of Adrian Clay that he works on now is Otero’s residency project. He wants to see it become more than a photograph—to become a piece with dimension and depth. Perhaps two months isn’t enough time to reach his goal of converting the image into the multidimensional object he has in mind. But he has that intention, the desire to make that leap from the photographic to the sculptural. Photography is not enough anymore.

This work is a follow-up to one from 2017—Pellejo, the image of a naked man’s back, composed of strips of woven vinyl. Otero brought it with him to New York and it now hangs on one of his studio walls.

“I return to the subject of identity and the use of vinyl, which is one of the materials that interests me most now. It seems like another skin,” he told Cuban Art News. [. . .]

For full article, see

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