Otto is a Chilean-German Artist, Architect and Urban Sculptor living in Europe since 2004. He has been painting since 1996 exhibiting his work in collectives and solo exhibitions in Chile, Germany, United States, England, Japan, Netherlands, Russia and Paris.
His work shows 2 different typologies of paintings. One related with the dreams, oneiric situations (surreal). The other one related with the abstract world in which He has been experimenting with layers, creating deepness in his sort of spacial representations. He has also been experimenting with collages and graffiti. He usually works on canvas, paper, boards or walls.
I had the opportunity to send Otto some questions, and below are his answers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: where are you from, what got you interested in art , and how did you get started in the urban art scene?
I am a Chilean artist and architect living in London since 2006. I started getting involved in the urban art scene in 2009, when I started painting on the streets, where I was living (Hoxton/Shoreditch, London).
Have you taken any art classes?
I started drawing since I was a child, but I took some oil painting classes in 1995, just before finishing my architecture courses.
What is your preferred medium and why?
I have been experimenting with different mediums but I rather prefer oil, because it takes some time to dry, so it makes me change a bit of what I am doing if I needed it.
How do you go about creating your art piece? How do you choose a wall/environment?
The creative process depends on what I want to paint and where I want to paint. First, I come up with an idea, which also can come from the wall I choose to paint (proportions and context) or sometimes just something I got in my mind that needs to be materialized somehow.
How much does your art affect or influence your everyday life and are there any role models or artists who inspired you?
I got different ways to express myself, so it goes from one thing to another, depending what’s coming to my mind. The fact of living in a big city like London, where you see different things everyday, that could inspire you to do anything. I love surrealism and I have been strongly influenced by Dali, Matta, MC. Escher, Beksinsky and Giger. On relation to urban art I really like Banksy, and the art work that take part of the architecture (the one that integrate the piece of art and the architecture elements like windows, doors or plumbing).
What are your thoughts on the way the internet is influencing the artworld?
The existence of these social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter help artist to promote their work.
Have you painted in the USA? If so, how was your experience like?
Yes, I painted in Miami twice in December 2013 and 2014. My experience was incredible. The reactions of the people have been really positive.
Do you travel to do street art or do you do street art when you travel?
Good question. I thing both. I try to kill more than one bird with one stone, so I try to find a wall to paint where I would like to visit or a gallery to show my work. Otherwise I travel with my stencils, so if I got the chance to paint a wall legal or illegal, I go for it.
Is there a message in your art?
Street art is still considered vandalism, how is it for you to go out and paint in the street? Did you ever have any problems with the law?
Actually once in Bricklane (London) but it was when I just started. Once I was painting in Camden Lock an illegal spot, once I just finished I turned around and a police officer was standing looking what I did. I looked at him a bit scared and then he asked me how do I make the stencils. I answer to him, then he congratulate me for the job and left. (I forgot to take a picture of my piece with him in it).
What have been your most challenging and rewarding piece of work thus far?
From my ribbons work I could say “Rhino-zero” (Camden, London) that is still there after 3 years already, “London Smiley” (Bricklane, London), “Man-Knit- Pulation” (Miami) and the Tigers (3), which I have been doing to support Save Wild Tigers (SWT) since 2013. “The Skulls Key” has been also successful. Also my Sunset (orb) series have been successful , “Say it with Flowers” too, “Davis vs Goliath” and “Scissors, paper, rock” that I have been painting apart from London in some other cities in Chile and Peru supporting the institutions against human trafficking.
What do you do when you are not creating art? What are your hobbies?
I draw and paint in my spare time as it’s my passion but I also go out for drinks and meals with friends, I like traveling, cooking, watching movies and going swimming and to the gym.
What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
I got 3 or 4 interesting projects for this year, plus some walls to paint in some festivals this summer. About the shows coming, I got a solo one in February in Gothenburg (Sweden) at Urban Art Rooms gallery (opening the 7th) and 2 more shows confirmed in London but with no dates fixed yet.
Any words of advice for inspiring new artists?
Just would like to advise them to search for new styles and spending some time experimenting. The other main thing is believing in what you are doing, otherwise you will not convince anyone in what you do.
Ok, that is all for now. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of Luck to you!