Angel Otero and the Miracle of Memories

Maria Brito

Co-produced and co-edited by Peter Koloff and Maria Brito.


James Rosenquist once said that “paintings are things to remember things by.” When applied to Angel Otero’s newest body of work, the equation of adding memories to paintings gets exponentially richer: layers upon layers of discarded painting fragments and scrapes that Otero thought were unsuccessful when first created are now brought back to life. Intermingled with found materials such as lace and wicker, the works are reminiscent of objects imprinted in his memory from his upbringing in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The name of Otero’s exhibition, “Milagros,” now on view at Lehmann Maupin, is a reference to the charms that people add to their jewelry or hang around the necks of religious statuettes as a means of showing gratitude for “good luck”—or for favors received that are considered fulfilled “miracles.”