JESSE MAX OTERO

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MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS
SEPTEMBER 2ND - SEPTEMBER 25TH

i.e. is pleased to welcome Jesse Max Otero for his 3rd solo exhibit with us. One never knows what to expect with an Otero exhibit. Except of course that it will be thoughtful, and witty, and push the boundaries, and be elegantly executed though the materials are humble. His sculpture is often sushi size and his paintings are often peels. And the installation is more important than any individual piece. He is embarking on a new journey, leaving Edison and Bellingham and his position as head baker for the beloved Bread Farm. When I asked  about a show title this is what he wrote:


Hi M.

I hope this note finds you in good spirits.  I’ve finally moved enough of my life to Corvallis and established an adequate amount of stasis to lend some brain power to our upcoming show.  The title for this exhibit will be,  ”May Contain Peanuts”.  I like this title for several reasons beyond its ties to earlier exhibits Fruiting Bodies and Artisan Donuts.  It would surprise no one who knows me that my mind is rarely far from food.

I like this title because it is quite literal here.  You will agree that my work leaves wide availability for any material to be worked and I especially show regard to materials that have a poverty to them.  A poverty of fineness and preciousness that would lend them unusable to fine arts.  There might be spices.  There might be bread.  There might be sea creatures.  There might be peanuts. But peanuts are more than a material or a food.  It has a metaphor in it.

Something can be had “for peanuts”

  or

Someone could work “for peanuts”.

What say a “peanut gallery’!  A gallery of peanuts.  (a fragment of a sentence)

Can art be made from bread, sardines, dirt?  

Can a dried vegetable have as much artistic value as a block of marble?
(as Lucy Lippard eluded to)

Of course it can. So.

-JMO"