Joel Otterson: Chandelier Queer (small format)
For the past twenty-five years Otterson has combined the venerable with the banal, working his way through the “House”— creating mash-ups of architectural elements, furniture, appliances, utilitarian objects, interior decorations, entertainment centers, and even a toilet (while an artist in residence in the Arts/Industry Residency Program at Kohler Company, 1991-92)—utilizing everything that has been invented to make our world a better place. For him, making these objects is a way of reclaiming the industrialized object as his own. His sculpture is a bricolage of domestic handicraft with traditional sculptural materials, at times blurring the line between high and low culture, art and craft. Otterson employs a diverse array of materials such as copper pipe, concrete, and blown glass with techniques such as woodworking, pottery, and needlework. His work goes beyond traditional stereotypes as an amalgam of sculptural techniques often associated with the masculine, with craft traditions that often allude to “women’s work.” It has been aligned with feminist thinking, gender bending, “Queer Aesthetics,” and, ironically, an embrace of American traditions like family, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and baseball.
Joel Otterson has shown his work internationally at venues such at The Museum of Modern Art (PROJECT series, 1987), the Venice Biennale (1993), and the Hammer Museum (Made in L.A, 2012).
The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.