In what has become the standard for a perfect balance of art and party during Art Basel, Walter Otero Contemporary Art, recently named by Modern Painters as one of the top galleries in North America, celebrated his annual party at the Bass Museum of Art during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Last years event was hard to top, yet this year's extravaganza was all the talk once again. With exquisite food, drinks, impeccable service and decor, guests were dancing until 2 a.m. Though the event was scheduled to end at 1 a.m., Museum Director Silvia Cubiñá offered that the party must continue.
We are one month away from commemorating our San Juan gallerys first anniversary and I am pleased to have celebrated this achievement with the artists, collectors and friends who have contributed to our success, said Otero.
Embracing the atmosphere was a video projection of vintage movie clips collaged between footage of the gallerys artists, featuring recent art projects from Allora & Calzadilla, Ángel Otero, Andrés Serrano, Arnaldo Roche, Axel Ruiz, Carlos Betancourt, Fabián Marcaccio, Gamaliel Rodríguez, Héctor Arce, Ignacio Gonzalez-Lang, Luis Vidal, Livia Ortiz, Michael Linares, Mónica Rodríguez, Osvaldo Budet, Rafael Vega, Ramón Miranda Beltrán, Shonah Trescott and Víctor Vázquez.
An eclectic mix of international VIP guests was kept at awe all night by the contemporary atmosphere and transcultural-mixed music from Pavoriti and Frank Sinatra, to Marc Anthony, Freddie Mercury, Daft Punk and Iris Chacon.
Guests included Maria Britto, Carla Camacho (Lehmann Maupin Gallery), Jennifer Johnson, Joe Duke, Kymberly Marciano, Hale Salzburg (Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery), Richard Jay Alexander (Barbara Streisand's director) Richard Blanco (inaugural poet), Puerto Rican art collectors: Ednita and Rolando Jiménez, Elena and Yamil Rivera, Mitty and Francisco Romero and Tony Pabon; Marianne Ramírez (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo PR); Dra. Lourdes Ramos (Museo de Arte de PR), Puerto Rican Chef Jose Enrique (Food & Wines Best New Chefs of 2013); Simon Baeyertz (New Zealand entrepreneur); among others.
Walter Otero Contemporary Arts artists were all over Basel Miami. Carlos Betancourt was part of the official Art Basel studio visits program, also exhibiting at the recently inaugurated PAMM Museum; Michael Linares at De la Cruz Collection and the Bass Museum of Art and Angel Otero at Locust Project. It was an extraordinary reason to celebrate!
Walter Otero Contemporary Art
On February 21st, the established Puerto Rican art dealer Walter Otero inaugurates, Walter Otero Contemporary Art (WOCA), a new space fully dedicated to contemporary art in Puerto Rico.
The gallery, located in Puerta de Tierra in the Old San Juan Historic District, was designed by the architect Luis Gutiérrez and the engineer Pedro Muñoz Marín. Five thousand square feet (5,000) dedicated to contemporary art will be divided into three floors. The main floor will show the main exhibits, and the ground floor will become the presentation and storage area. The third floor, a magnificent roof top garden overlooking the San Juan Bay area will host gatherings and outdoor exhibits. In addition to an inventory of the works of the artists represented, a limited selection of prints will be available for acquisition.
The concept of WOCA is to create a space that goes beyond the commercial aspect of a traditional gallery. My goal is to break with the traditional gallery model, by integrating institutional and educational components, as well as the publishing and archiving of items within the gallery. As part of its educational agenda, the gallery will host art lectures by specialists in painting, photography and conceptual art; in addition to producing catalogues written by renowned local and international critics. Furthermore, we want to develop alliances and partnerships with schools and art institutions, encouraging and motivating the next generation of local artists. My goal is that the gallery will become a facilitator for young artists into the international market, as well as to keep developing my roster of established ones. said Walter Otero. WOCA will continue positioning its artists in the international market by participating in art fairs and special projects.
Walter Otero, has been working in the art world for approximately 15 years. He has extensive experience representing and managing many artists, helping them directly and indirectly, to find new opportunities to boost their careers.
In the course of his career, he has established continuous collaborations and partnerships with many renowned galleries including Lehmann Maupin, James Cohan, Yvon Lambert, Paula Cooper, and Robert Miller among others. As well as many alliances and projects including Arte Americas, Miami, 2005; Leipzig International Art Walk, Germany, 2008; Pinta Art Fair, London, 2010; All five editions of Circa Art Fair, 2006-2010, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Among the institutions which whom Otero has worked with include: The Puerto Rico Art Museum, The Puerto Rico Contemporary Art Museum, Ponce Art Museum, Puerto Rico, Museo Del Barrio, New York, Chicago Cultural Center, MCA, Panama Contemporary Art museum, Bass Museum, Miami, MOCAA LA, MOLAA, Hirshhorn Museum, Bronx Museum, Dommus Atrium, Spain and The New Museum, New York. Otero also assisted in the presentations in Puerto Rico of exhibitions featuring LaChappelle, Matthias Weischer, David Schnell, The Rubells Family Collection and the upcoming Bill Viola show (2013).
Over the last decade, Walter Otero has been a key figure on international collectionism in Puerto Rico by intelligently assessing those who want to create or complete a collection. He has managed to make Puerto Rico the new home of many important collections from celebrated artists including Anselm Kiefer, Nan Golding, Ana Mendieta, Doo Goo Sue, The Chapman Brothers, Bill Viola, Matthew Barney, Immendorf, Kara Walker, Julian Schnabel, Alex Katz, among many others.
With the opening of Walter Otero Contemporary Art, a domino effect is anticipated to happen in the art scene in Puerto Rico, by establishing the island as one of artistic development and influence in the market.
WOCA, has a solid group of international renowned artists which include: Allora y Calzadilla, Ángel Otero, Andrés Serrano, Arnaldo Roche Rabell, Axel Ruiz, Carlos Betancourt, Fabián Marcaccio, Gamaliel Rodríguez, Héctor Arce Espasas, Ignacio Lang, Luis Vidal, Michael Linares, Mónica Rodríguez, Osvaldo Budet, Rafael Vega, Ramón Miranda Beltrán, Shonah Trescott and Víctor Vázquez.
Walter Otero Contemporary Art (WOCA) is located on #402 Constitution Ave., Puerta de Tierra, Old San Juan, PR. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information call WOCA at 1-787-998-9622(WOCA) or 1-787-627-5797/or visit www.walterotero.com