painting + installation by Erik Otto
@ 143 Chihuahua (Colonia Roma), Mexico City, Mexico
opens: Thursday, January 23 @ 730-1130pm
on view: January 24 & 25 @ 1-5pm (or by appointment)
WATCH intro video >>
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I initially came to Mexico City from San Francisco with the basic intent to create work in a foreign place remaining open to the influence from a new surrounding environment. Looking back, this first trip seemed almost innocent as I had no prior knowledge of the city’s complexity and scale — both historically, culturally, and geographically.
Over a year later, rather than attempting my intellect on a place I have yet to truly understand, I decided to return to expand on my own personal story of how this new city captured my attention and the personal journey it inspired me to take. For me, I have realized travel and distance create a healthy perspective needed to reevaluate the matters of the heart. It is my belief that when someone is stripped away from the influence of comforts, habits, and all things familiar, does one find clarity in the vision for their life. Being committed and unafraid in doing so comes with great reward, but not without real struggle and responsibility in taking control of ones life.
“Sometimes it’s necessary to travel a very long distance out of your way only to come back a short distance correctly.” —Edward Albee (screen writer)
At the beginning of my most recent trip, I was given access to an abandoned space that I immediately transformed into a functional work studio to produce a body of work consisting of paintings and several site-specific installations incorporating light, found material, and the space itself. Using distance as a metaphor to illustrate the mental and spiritual path one takes to find answers to life’s bigger questions, my goal is to capture the hard to describe feeling of being completely immersed in this moment of effort and growth.
“There is nothing quite like distance to make one realize the resilience of the human spirit. Being apart from the places and people that bring you comfort is a daunting and sometimes terrifying task. When you can be at peace with distance, you have found peace within yourself.” —Leah Darling (friend)