Over the last decade, New York-based artist Angel Otero has experimented with numerous genres and styles, from early still lifes, domestic interiors, and landscapes, to pure abstraction created using his innovative oil paint “skins,” to the work he is creating today―a combination of both.

Magical realism and abstraction converge in the work of artist Angel Otero, who weaves his personal recollections of his upbringing in Puerto Rico into his new paintings and sculptures.

In this new series of works, recognizable objects and motifs―beds, house plants, bird cages, couches―seem to float amidst or emerge from the frenetic swirls of layers upon layers of vibrant oil paint.

Each painting engages with memories associated with specific objects or spaces, in this case items found in the home. Though memory has always been a key narrative component of Otero’s work, it was previously expressed through material specificity or patterning.

Depictions of items tied to childhood memories are combined with art historical influences that range from Pierre Bonnard’s interiors, to Joan Mitchell’s vibrant palette, to Georges Braque’s use of fragmented and fractured space. Otero’s inclusion of beds, playgrounds and chairs invites us to consider our own relationship to these quotidian objects, while also reflecting the artist’s personal history, family, and domestic space.

About the artist: Angel Otero (b. 1981, Santurce, Puerto Rico; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) 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 The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2017); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (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).

Blackqube Magazine is your destination for contemporary art, design and architecture. Blackqube features today’s creative practitioners offering a curated selection of innovative minds, galleries, art and design institutions around the globe. We source international exhibitions, art fairs, events and auctions to bring the best of today’s cultural highlights to our audience. Feel free to discover more news and stories in our Photography, Design & architecture, Featured and Printed Matter sections.

Angel Otero // “That first rain in May” // Hauser and Wirth Gallery // Los Angeles, USA // On view through 25 August 2024 //