JESSE MAX OTERO
April 5th - April 28th
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 6th, 4-6 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 20th, 4pm
i.e. is excited to feature Bellingham artist, Jesse Max Otero, with a full gallery installation. Last year, Otero gave us a taste of his imaginative prowess with his popular small installation, "Fruiting Bodies." Viewers were intrigued, confounded, smitten, charmed, maybe irritated but they did not leave unaffected.
Otero makes small sculptures, often 3 x 3 in, out of everyday unconsidered materials. They are hand crafted, intimate, immediate and raw. That is the first step of his process: building a collection, dozens and dozens of miniatures, each with its own power and personality. The second part is installing these pieces into a specific site. i.e. will paint a few squares of wall color to work with and he will compose the sculptures around the interior space of the gallery using floors, walls, ceilings and color swaths as the framework for his placement of pieces. Place is of particular importance to Otero and he likes to bring as much of the setting into the actual form of the art he is shaping when installing.
The pointillists in painting, such as Seurat, gave us a a way to see a painting by allowing the viewers eye to connect the dots of color. By doing so the work achieved an airy glow or halo effect. A visual disruption that made us see in a new way. Otero works with space and scale to change up the way we experience materials in our environment. To come away with fresh eyes.
Jesse Max Otero, Artisan Donuts 02, acrylic on aluminum, 4 x 3.5 in, 2018
"I came into art through the kitchen. After a decade of professional cooking, art-making took over as the vehicle for my engagement with creativity. The body of work on view, entitled Artisan Donuts, is an examination of the effect my culinary philosophy has on my art practice.
In cooking, the methods are determined by the situation and the materials. There is almost always a set of limitations that is responsible for the decisions: possibilities are determined by the available materials and the usefulness of the tools and devices at hand. There is a constant mining of the inherent qualities and advantages of these materials. Efficiency and economy are often major concerns. Color is inherent, not imposed. Less is more and balance is paramount. There exists a strong poetry in the combination of materials. My work is rooted in these concerns.
The objects shown are the result of both a creative language that has been synthesized through the vocabulary of cuisine, and the setting in which they are made - the studio. The product is a relationship between material, situation and circumstance."