December, 2017

CAROLINA OTERO'S TIME TRAVELS AND BEYOND

By Surpik Angelini, Director of The Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology, Houston

If we fathom the notion of time travels, we must assume that time is happening in a multi-dimensional subconscious realm; in other words, not in a measurable temporal sequence but in a continuum where past, present and future flow uninterrupted. This realm is where Carolina Otero's expressive art is generated. In the past, creators that embraced this kind of expressionistic process tended to edit and frame their work as if it was frozen in one instance in that continuum. This is the case of such artists as Willem De Kooning and Jackson Pollock, among others. As viewers, we had to imagine what followed, or what preceded their gestural act. Instead, Carolina Otero has come to grips with the kinetic nature of the psychic experience grounding this phenomena. 

Through her most recent experimentations, together with videographer Carlos Pelayo Martínez, she discovered that myriad of expressive permutations using a printed image as a common ground, could show the transformative effect of painterly interventions of her graphic marks. Thus, an array of distinct qualities defining line and tone come to life in Otero's manipulations of surface, as if they 

were verbs in an open semiotic field: sketch, scratch, score, engrave, etch, impress, imprint, innscribe, blot, stipple, crosshatch, scrape, lacerate, stab, jab, puncture, nick, slit, tear, mark, dent, bruise, spot, stain, splatter, sprinkle, spray, smudge, smear, splotch, dye, blur, discolor, tint, shade, darken, obscure, soften, muddy, make hazy, cloud, fade, obfuscate, wash out, mask, hide, lighten, highlight, reveal... all these actions leave traces of a complex matrix that persists, repeating itself, as if it were the ghostly diagram of a city seen from a great distance in the sky, traversed by clouds. What brings this work full circle, is how the artist grasps the full impact of her personal time travel, revealing her thought process as she and Carlos Pelayo Martínez document her series of images through video. The result is more than the sum of the parts. It is a poetic allegory, suggesting disturbance, turmoil in a familiar place, perhaps an evocation of a lost homeland.

Surpik Angelini, 2017.

PINTA Platforms 2017 curated by Roc Laseca. MANA CONTEMPORARY, Miami PINTA Art Fair

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