CARLOS OTERO (Argentinian, b. 1966)
Table Lamp, 2022
Carlos Otero is an Argentinian-born architect, designer, and sculptor based in New York City. Otero's unique handcrafted objects are a compelling amalgam of primitive and futuristic aesthetics. Inspired by Brutalists works of his native Argentina, Le Corbusier as well as the mud structures of Mali, Machu Picchu, and Cappadocia, Otero creates works by reinterpreting their geometric forms and textures while attentive to proportion, harmony, and structural integrity. The earthy, muted monochromatic tones also reveal a link to the Modernist and primitive sources as it provides a visual uniformity. Spanning wall murals, sculptures, and lighting, his pieces, whether small or large scale, is provocative with both humor and a menacing otherworldliness–mystical beasts with horns protruding or abstract visions of signs and symbols. Otero's process involves preliminary sketches that he then translates into his hand-built works with a multitude of materials including ceramic, natural wood, unglazed and glazed fired clay, and the application of an off-white matte finish.
Otero studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires. He moved to New York in 1996 and founded his own firm Carlos Otero Design in 2001. He began working with ceramics as a respite from his professional design work, which then became the main focus of his practice. Otero also spent two years in Hong Kong intensifying his study of the ceramic medium.