Born during the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in the summer of 1980. Otto was raised by a strict father from a long line of military families and a big-hearted mother from multiple generations rooted in the South. The influence of the two, often contradicting, unknowingly created a friction in Otto’s life that later produced an unconscious drive to seek a balance in everything he creates.

Growing up, it seemed everything came as struggle for Otto. Specifically, his experience with a severe loss of vision combined with a near-death drowning incident and almost losing his brother to a 12-year drug addiction all had lasting impressions on him. Despite these hardships and others, Otto developed a distinct relationship with positivity.

Unaware that art could be a career path, Otto absorbed creativity anyway he could. Self-taught drummer and dancer in his early years, rhythm and movement would soon have a profound impact within the aesthetics of his work. Graduating with a BFA in illustration from San Jose State University, Otto quickly relocated to San Francisco where he would live and work for the next 12 years. Combining his creative endeavor with his other interests of cycling and travel would soon inspire a 6-month self-produced artist residency in Mexico City where he created a body of work in an abandoned building prior to its demolition.

Otto is currently relocating his life from San Francisco to New York City and will be splitting his time between the two influentially great cities.


Erik Otto Studio, San Francisco, CA, From One Place to the Next

Luna Rienne Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Rising Sun

Heron Arts, San Francisco, CA, Rising Tides

Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver, BC, Canada, In Search Of
ReUrbano, Mexico City, Mexico, Distancia
Luna Rienne Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Searching For Higher Ground

933 Treat Studios, San Francisco, CA, A Full Days Work

White Walls, San Francisco, CA, Project Room

White Walls, San Francisco, CA, Tomorrow is Never Promised (1)
Fabric8, San Francisco, CA, Tomorrow is Never Promised (2)
Recology SF, San Francisco, CA, The Last Shall Be First

Beta Lounge, Berkeley, CA, WORKS
Charmingwall Gallery, New York, NY, Silence Speaks Volumes

Design Within Reach, Palo Alto, CA, Recent Works
The Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, CA, The Sea of Change
Gallery Three, San Francisco, CA, The Calm Before the Storm

The Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, CA, A Long Way
Cal State San Marcos, San Marcos, CA, Rooted Dreams


Heron Arts, San Francisco, CA, Together
Athen B Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2-Year Anniversary Show

Prjct OMNI, Traverse City, MI, A Theory of Contemplation
The Yard, Brooklyn, NY, Recent Works (curated by Silence is Accurate)
Marin MOCA, Navato, CA, Waste Not
Athen B Galery, Oakland, CA, New Radius
Joseph Gross Gallery, New York, NY, Night & Day
Space236, San Francisco, CA, The Balance

Athen B Gallery, Oakland, CA, CO-LAB
Inner State Gallery, Detroit, MI, Lyric III
Ampersand International Arts, Mexico City, Mexico, Carry On

YBCA, San Francisco, CA, Bay Area Now 7

SFO Museum, San Francisco, CA, The Art of Recology
Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco, CA, Project Grand SF
Adobe Backroom Gallery, San Francisco, CA, We Had Nothing To Do And We Did It
Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA, PARADE
Asterisk Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Future Culture

Fabric8, San Francisco, CA, Color Theory
Project One Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Symbols
Ace Museum, Los Angeles, CA, All in for the 99%
323 East Gallery, Detroit, MI, Lyric 2012

Gallerie NeuroTitan, Berlin, Germany, Permaculture
Mallick Williams & Co., New York, NY, Spectrum
941 Geary Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Indoor Mural Project
Double Punch Gallery, San Francisco, CA, There is No Telling
Gallery Hijinks, San Francisco, CA, The Letter Collector

Primary Flight / Art Basel Miami, Miami, FL, Fresh Produce
Katzen Art Center, Washington DC, Ghost Market x Catalyst
Re:Form School, New York, NY, Re:Form School
941 GEARY, San Francisco, CA, A New Beginning
Intersection For the Arts, San Francisco, CA, 45th Anniversary
Manifest Equality, Los Angeles, CA, Manifest Equality
White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Never a Dull Moment
Fabric8, San Francisco, CA, 1(4) Years

The Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Terrestrial Syndrome
Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, Annual Benefit Show
Shadow’s Space, Philadelphia, PA, Climb in the Back Window

Charmingwall, New York City, NY, Tiny Big Top Show
Reaves Gallery, San Francisco, CA, If These Walls Could Speak

Project:Gallery, Culver City, CA, Head in the Trees

Ayden Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Brave Art
Compound Gallery, Portland, OR, Supernal
Thinkspace, Los Angeles, CA, Square Foot Show
Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City, CA, Halloween Show
Thinkspace, Los Angeles, CA, Triamese

The Lab 101 Gallery, Culver City, CA, The Birdhouse Show
Gallery Anno Domini, San Jose, CA, Fresh Produce


Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver, BC, Canada

ReUrbano, Mexico City, Mexico

Recology San Francisco, AIR Program, San Francisco, CA


VSCO Artist Initiative, grant recipient

SFAC Art in Storefronts grant recipient


Grand Hyatt, San Francisco, CA

Microsoft, Seattle, WA


UBER Technologies, INC, Palo Alto, CA

Gensler Architecture, San Francisco, CA

Martinkovic Milford Architects, San Francisco, CA

Studio O+A, San Francisco, CA

LinkedIn, Sunnyvale, CA & Omaha, NE

One Medical Group, San Francisco, CA

Red Bull, San Francisco, CA

Urban Outfitters Inc.

Pow! Wow! Hawaii, Honolulu, HI

JanSport, USA

MASH, San Francisco, CA

Blue Line Pizza, Bay Area, CA

Central Market Community Benefit District, San Francisco, CA