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ARTIST JOHNNY OTTO



JOHNNY OTTO

DANCE OF SPIRITS

MEDIUM: ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

SIZE: 48" x 60"

DATE: 2017

PRICE: $8500 : CONTACT ART BUYS

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BIO

Johnny Otto is self-taught contemporary artist based in Los Angeles. He was born in Bay Village, Ohio in 1966, the grandson of Czech and German immigrants. Otto is also an award-winning Filmmaker, Social Activist & the Founder of Ottophobia. His work is greatly influenced by the Neo-Expressionistic (The Wild Ones) artists of the 70's and 80's and by the Masks created by the Fang People. His work has been compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo, Picasso, Keith Haring, and many other influential artists of the last century.

In 1971 his father moved the family to Canada, presumably because of the Vietnam War. His father was a Doctor who dedicated his life to helping the less-fortunate in the inner city of Detroit. This greatly influenced Johnny and since then he has pledged to help those in need. He began his art career in his home town of Windsor, Ontario in 1983. He was also a Radio DJ at the influential college station CJAM-FM from 1987-1990. In the Summer of 1990, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his filmmaking and artistic dreams. In 1991 he created his first and only still life, a painting of flowers in a vase, reminiscent of Van Gogh's 'Flowers in a Blue Vase'. When his father, who had been a major influence in his art, died in 1991, he instructed his mother to place in his father’s coffin.

Johnny Otto Artist

In the early 90's he helped form the ART SQUAT collective and is actively keeping its spirit alive in the Hollywood area. He is also a member of both the ACLU and the Los Angeles Art Syndicate. He participated in the The Angel Art benefit, an art and photography auction that was hosted by Herb Ritts, Richard Meier, Robert Graham and David Hockney. The event, emceed by Lily Tomlin, commemorated artists who have died from AIDS. He has been featured in MovieMaker Magazine and his films have debuted at The Palm Springs Film Festival and The La Jolla International Fashion Film Festivals. He also started his own festival called SLIMDUNCE, in 2009, to showcase 7 films that he made in a 7 week period.

Having trouble getting into conventional galleries, Johnny Otto decided to take matters into his own hands and created a series of unconventional solo shows including ‘Art In The Alley’, which allowed motorists to drive down an alley in Hollywood that was filled with his art. Later that year he and his friends created Art Squat as they commandeered an abandoned building across from Fairfax High School and turned it into an art space that lasted for two years before being discovered and shut down.



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