John Otter is a contemporary artist focused on abstract painting and drawing. He was born in San Diego county in 1973, and studied printmaking and painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, during which time he also attended the New York Studio Program.

Otter fell in love with drawing at an early age, filling sketchbooks with pen and ink drawings that hint at the abstract style he would return to later in life. Repetitive patterns, concentric circles, stippling and cross-hatching have remained an integral part of his drawings.

In his formative artistic years he worked with collage, mixed media and xerography, leading him to a passion for printmaking, which he pursued adamantly between 1995 and 2000.

Upon returning to California the artist shifted from painting back to drawing, honing his particular style over the past decade.

His work has appeared in literary journals, art auctions, and has been exhibited from California to New York.


The artist Otter

It’s difficult to capture (literally: to imprison) the forms and colors of the artist Otter in well-defined words, especially as his concepts are minimalistic.  He composes works of the same or occasionally different materials, evoking a spatial effect by combining simple details and ultimately arriving at a happy synthesis .

In their structure, the prints are composed of different elements.  And they transmit a third dimension, even though they are two dimensional in perspective.  Otter wants to demonstrate that force exists in the heavy (lit.:  stoned to death) simplicity of the print.  The artistic messages of Otter’s compositions are a counter meditation.  The broken rapport between emotion and reason, between nature (for which he has a weakness) and technique (Xerox copies, one on top of the other, etc), is transposed into a new reality and persists into his formal artistic language.

July 15, 1997