1xRun Thru Interview
Fluxus by Erik Otto
1xRun: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Erik Otto: This piece was one of 1 of 9 paintings I produced for my last show, DISTANCIA, that took place in an abandoned building in Mexico City at the start of this year. Every piece in the show had a similar second piece that was slightly altered to create a visual rhythm, but this painting was the one wild card piece that stood proudly on it’s own. For me, this piece was the one piece that summed what the entire show was about — breaking away from structure to give way to a new perspective and flow while finding peace in the process.
1xRUN: When was this piece created and with what materials?
Erik Otto: This piece was created in January 2014 using a mix of acrylic, spray paint, and pencil on canvas. The original piece is framed with reclaimed wood that is almost 100 years old.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Erik Otto: The idea came from my attempt to visually describe that everything in life is in constant motion. All my works start from a rough sketch to work out the basic composition. From there, I try not to think about it too much and let the expressive nature of my work flow out of me as I do my best to bring it to a final resting place.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Erik Otto: Similar to my past work, I feel this piece along with the others created for the show in Mexico City was successful in capturing an energy that was a direct influence from the new environment.
1xRun: You recently wrapped up a rather large endeavor in Mexico City, give us the background on that project and how it all came together?
Erik Otto: I have been frequently visiting Mexico City for over 2 years after an initial spontaneous trip. I had no prior knowledge of the city and the more I learn the more I fall in love with it. Since that first trip, I had the vision of creating a connection with my work and this last trip was just that. With the help of friends and new contacts I made along the way I managed to get all access to an abandoned building that I turned into my work space for 3 months and produced a body of work followed by a packed out opening night.
1xRun: What was your biggest takeaway from that project and why?
Erik Otto: The end result was better than I could ever planned for and I will continue to make trips there to continue what I have started.
1xRun: What have you been up to since you wrapped things up there?
Erik Otto: I came back to my San Francisco studio to work on a number of commissioned interior murals and installations as well as develop a new body of work inspired by my recent travels. Also reconnecting with friends, do some longer bike rides, and considering remodeling my studio to include a drum set again.
1xRun: Now that you’re back and settled in what are your plans the next 2-3 months here as 2014 gets underway?
Erik Otto: I had friend tell me nothing will happen until you “make the work”. It’s a simple phrase I write often and pretty much sums up the hustle I do every day of researching new opportunities, reaching out to people I would like to work with, meanwhile consistently developing new ideas and producing quality work with or without a budget or a deadline or even a means to sell it. However, I do have a goal of setting out on another self-made international art residency so currently gearing up for that as well.
1xRun: Any artists that you’ve really been inspired by lately to push yourself?
Erik Otto: Gherhard Richter, Mark Bradford, Os Gemeos, Tara Donovan and Sam Messenger.
1xRun: Any big events or shows that you have coming up?
Erik Otto: I have been selected to be a part of this year’s Bay Area Now exhibition at the YBCA in July, but before that I’m off to Vancouver, Canada next month to produce a site-specific installation for the Burrard Arts Foundation.