While Angel Otero's extensive process of layering paintings on glass on top of each other and collaging them on a canvas is evident in his work, seeing how his process works in person is exhilarating.
Our studio tour and dinner with Angel Otero on September 9, during Armory Week, was a collaboration event in an ongoing series with Maestro Dobel Tequila. Our series spotlights artists who are masters of their craft, especially those from the Latin American diaspora. We tailored our New York, Miami and Los Angeles events to the artists' practices and locales, hoping to enrich the conversation between our members and the histories of the artists and creatives we celebrate.
Our celebration of Hauser & Wirth artist Angel Otero began in the space next door to his Brooklyn studio, which was developing into an extension of his working space.
A bar in the back meant that everyone's excitement could be matched and amplified by Maestro Dobel Tequila drinks. The combination of art, refreshments and admirers transformed this recently acquired space into an incubator of arousing conversation about ongoing and upcoming art fairs, the neighbourhood history and the art in front of us as the studio visit drew nearer.
As people began shuffling into the studio space, the visual stimulation all around led them to discard anticipation for fascination. Everyone knew they were getting an early look at the work set to be presented at Otero's debut show at Hauser & Wirth on November 10.
As soon as he started speaking, the four walls surrounding the small group became more than the four walls of Angel Otero's Brooklyn studio. With the help of maybe 30 artworks, they became reflections of his past, present and future, and eventually, reflections of every visitor's furniture, pots, pans, plants and childhood memories for the next half hour.
After soaking in the artist's vibrant visuals and personal thoughts, it was time for a dinner prepared by Chef Elena Reygadas, one of the most important figures on the Mexican gastronomic scene. She is the owner of Rosetta and Lardo in Mexico City, two of the world's best restaurants, and a winner of Veuve Clicquot Latin America's Best Female Chef award. Her reputation preceded her, but her creations exemplified her talent, much like Otero's art did for him.
Otero sat at the head of the table for this intimate sit-down dinner in an open-air venue just down the street. Three courses consisting of avocado and samphire tacos, sweet potato tamal and more, each paired with a different Maestro Dobel cocktail, made for a delectable dinner.
Just as Otero predicted at the beginning of the studio tour, magnificent art, drinks, food and company made for a monumental night.
—Words by Gideon Fortune. Photo: Javier Romero, Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth.