About Andre Otto | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

Artist Photo

André Otto is a fulltime professional sculptor who has been working in bronze for the past twenty years. While finishing his degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, he also completed his third year in Archaeology.

As the bronze medium dictates, his works find their birth in wax, his medium of choice. Because of the flexibility and melting properties of wax, it enables the artist to produce a wide range of shapes and textures - being able to attach, melt and mould together almost any kind of form.

The artist finds most of his inspiration in exploring abstract form, as well as in the objects of pre–historic times, giving his work an almost ancient quality, as if it might have been buried underground for hundreds of years. When studying his work, one might be reminded of objects such as ploughs, worker tools, primitive machinery, (perhaps driven on by water) and of other ancient implements. The onlooker might perhaps also be transported to an unknown world, full of strange objects.

One also becomes aware of the distinct raw quality of the patina on the finished bronzes, which reminds of ancient smelting processes in Africa, and of metals burned in underground fires. It then seems rather fitting that the artist should choose such an ancient working process as the Lost Wax Method, which has been used for hundreds of years, to produce metal objects.

Although his sculptures are predominately small in scale, they give the illusion of monumental stature and could also be seen as macqettes of much larger works. One could easily picture them in full scale at almost five meters high, etched against the landscape.

Inspiration

The artist finds his inspiration in the exploring of abstract form and space, as well as in the man-made objects of pre–historic times. The works remind of objects such as ploughs, worker tools, primitive machinery, and of other ancient implements. There is an intentional ancient quality, as if it might have been buried underground for hundreds of years.

The distinct raw quality of the patina on the finished bronzes, remind of ancient smelting processes in Africa, and of metals burned in underground fires. Choosing such an ancient working process as the Lost Wax Method, which has been used for hundreds of years, to produce metal objects, the process itself, becomes an extension of the artist' expression. The works speak of ancient workmanship and of time consuming effort, as abstract forms interact with and slowly move through space.

Artist CV

EDUCATION

  • Grade 12: A-Levels Equivalent
    Hoër Volkskool, Potchefstroom,South Africa, Matriculated – 1979
  • Military Service:
    1980 – 1981 SA Air force
  • Degree: Baccalaurean Artium Fine Arts (University of Pretoria, 1987)
    Subjects: Honors - Sculpture, History of Art, Visual Communication, Archaeology – 3, Graphic Art, Drawing, Afrikaans en Nederlandse Kultuurgeskiedenis , Information Design – 2

    WORK EXPERIENCE

  • 1990 -1994: Full time Technical Assistant and part time lecturer in sculpture at the Department of Fine arts.
  • 1994 -1999: Part-time lecturer in Sculpture.

    EXHIBITIONS

  • 1984 – 1987: Annual New Signatures Competition Exhibitions.
  • 1987: Solo Exhibition UP
  • 1987: Hans Merensky Foundation Wood Sculpture Competition.
  • 1989 – 1996: Volkskas Atelier Competition Exhibitions
  • 1990-1999: Various Lecturer Exhibitions – University of Pretoria
  • 1994: Kempton Park / Tembisa Annual Art Competition
  • 1996: Group Exhibition Open Window Art Academy
  • 2002: Solo Exhibition Absa Gallery
  • 2006: Show at The Studio Gallery in Clarence.
  • 2009: Exhibits at Platform on 18th

    COMMISIONS

  • Musaion Sculpture – University of Pretoria
  • 2,5m Steel Cross and panels for the Bryanston Catholic church.
  • Trophies awarded to luminaries such as former minister Pik Botha, Bettie Cilliers Barnard, Eduardo Villa and Professor Danie Joubert.
  • Trophies for Absa Atelier Competition
  • Kanna Awards - Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (2004)
  • Economist of the Year Award – Absa Bank
  • Annual Quality Awards – Absa Bank
  • Numerous private commissions.

    Otto Sculpture and Design
    In addition to producing fine art, I also work in the commercial field of Architectural Sculpture and design. In this field I gained a large amount of experience in working with new high-tech building materials, stretching the practical possibilities for interior and exterior Architectural design. I was part of the international creative team that produced art as well as bronze and fiberglass artifacts for the Atlantis project, Palm Island, Dubai(2008).
    I also have my own Bronze Casting Foundry


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