The work of Daniel Otero Torres is grounded in the re-construction of ideology through drawings done by hand on aluminum and stainless steel. Moving between drawing and sculpture, Otero Torres’ origami-like constructions appear at first as uncanny large-format black and white photographs. Upon closer inspection, one realizes the images are in fact handmade drawings, laboriously done with graphite pencils over a flat surface that has the visual weightlessness of paper but the actual density of metal. The artist’s unusual technique succeeds in creating a dislocation of materials as well as of contexts: his images represent not a single individual but a visual and historical collage created from a number of sources: from antique archives and books, to found images in contemporary newspapers or online sources that reflect the artist’s process of understanding the role of marginalised or largely ignored populations that have, nonetheless, played essential roles in recent history around the world.
The mobile El Borrachero presented in the exhibition borrows hands from the men on a photography Machetes by Sady González taken in Bogotá on April 9, 1948. This date marks the assassination of the Colombian liberal Jorge Eliecer Gaitan that sparked a huge and violent revolt in the streets of Bogotá called Bogotazo. The carnage and destruction of the city was absolute and many people said that Bogota never recovered. This episode was followed by decades of violence during the period known as La Violencia. The hands are stripped of their machetes. They float in mid-air with brugmansias, also called Angel’s trumpets and el borrachero in Colombia, a beautiful yet very poisonous flower coming originally from South America near The Andes and now also blooming in the streets of Los Angeles.
Daniel Otero Torres (b. 1985, Bogotá, Colombia) currently lives and works in Paris, France. His works have been exhibited in numerous institutions such as the Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain MRAC Sérignan, France, including his solo exhibition (Dé)placements (2017) and the group exhibition Bandes à part (2018); Contemporary Art Centre of Villeurbanne, Rhône-Alpes, France (2016); Kunstverein Sparkasse, Leipzig, Germany (2014); Heidelberg Kunstverein, Germany (2011); and the Bullukian Foundation, Lyon, France (2010), among others. Upcoming projects include large scale installations in La Tôlerie, Clermont Ferrand, France (2019); and Drawing Lab Paris, France (2020). He has been a resident of the Villa Belleville (2015-2016); Moly-Sabata Residency in Les Sablons, France (2014); the Cité des arts de Paris (2011-2012), and L’a rape-couleurs in Lyon, France. He has been awarded the Hors les murs creation and research program award by the French Institute; the Prix Rhône-Alpes de la Jeune Création, Rendez-vous 15, Biennale de Lyon; and the prize of the Conseil Général of the École Nationale des Beaux Arts in Lyon.
Daniel Otero Torres is represented by mor charpentier, Paris.