Otto is a prolific Artist who has been compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo, Picasso, Keith Haring. Since 1990 he has been calling Los Angeles his home.
His 2017 series "Savages" is a slight departure from his earlier work and focuses on the primal nature of man and the beast that lies within.
This series features lone figures, tribal in nature, naked against the world.
Style: Figurative. Primitive. Tribal.
Art should explore the soul and the place of humanity in the world. It should look inside. Explore the unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires.
It is here the we see the primitive nature of man. The beast. The gortesque savage the roams free of all restraints, with the sole purpose of survival. That is what my work explores.
The inside of mankind looking out. Hungry. Unsatisfied. God, Goddess and Warrior of the Earth. Hunter. It is to be feared and respected. It is a provider, as well. It is Nourishing.
It breathes life into world. It brings forth change. It births. It kills. It is all of us.
As well as being an award-winning filmmaker featured in publications such as Movie Maker Magazine and on Aspiring Hollywood, Johnny Otto has exhibited his art since the mid 80’s when he was a film student in Canada. Los Angeles exhibits include Zero One Gallery, Headquarters, The Project
Angel Food Art Auction, Ministry Gallery, Art in The Alley, and Art Squat (which he is a co-founder of).
1966 BORN IN BAYVILLE, OHIO
1971 MOVED TO CANADA WITH FAMILY
1974-1985 ATTENDED PRIVATE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
1986-1999 ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR
1989 WON "BEST SCRIPT" AT C.O.S.T. FESTIVAL IN CANADA
1990 MOVED TO LOS ANGELES
1992 CO-FOUNDER OF ARTSQUAT
1993 HIS FATHER DIES AT AGE 63
1996 MARRIES ARTIST SHIHO AMANO
1999 BEGINS TRIBAL.SEXUAL SERIES
2000 DIVORCES ARTIST SHIHO AMANO
2001 BROTHER ERIC DIES AT AGE 39
2001 OTTOPHOBIA: WROTE, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED DV FEATURE FILM "BRUISED"
2003 SOLO EXHIBIT AT HEADQUARTERS FOR TRIBAL.SEXUAL SERIES
2007 SLIMDUNCE - 7 FILMS IN 7 WEEKS - DIRECTS/SHOOTS/EDITS 7 SHORT FILMS
2007-2011 CONTINUES TO SHOW WORK PRIVATELY
2009 HIS MOM DIES FROM CANCER
2011 FOCUSES ON FILM PROJECTS
2012 BEGINS "FLESH" SERIES
2015 FINISHES 'THE SUN KING' SHORT FILM
2017 NEW SHORT FILM 'PARFUM DE MES REVES' IS OFFICIAL SELECTION IN LA JOLLA FASHION FILM FESTIVAL
2016-2017 BEGINS "SAVAGE" SERIES AND BEGINS DOCUMENTING HIS PROCESS ON FILM
1988 GROUP SHOW/SUBWAY EXHIBITIONS - ABSTARCT PAINTINGS - UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR, ONTARIO. CANADA
1989 SOLO EXHIBIT/RIVERFRONT GALLERY - FIGURATIVE PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES - WINDSOR, ONTARIO. CANADA
1990-1991 CURATOR/PARTICIPANT FOR GROUP SHOW "MEGABOYS" - FEATURING 20 EMERGING ARTISTS SPONSORED MY FARHAD NOVIAN AND SIMON MILLER - LOS ANGELES,CA
1991-1993 PROJECT ANGEL FOOD ART AUCTION PACIFIC DESIGN CENTER - LOS ANGELES, CA
1992-1994 CO-FOUNDER of ART SQUAT COLLECTIVE - CONCEPTUAL PIECES - LOS ANGELES,CA
1993 ART IN THE ALLEY - EXPERIMENTAL DRIVE-THRU ART EXHIBIT- FEATURING ABSTRACT AND FIGURATIVE PAINTINGS - LOS ANGELES,CA
1994 PRIVATE SOLO SHOW - ABSTRACT AND FIGURATIVE PAINTINGS - LOS ANGELES,CA
1996 SOLO EXHIBIT AT MINISTRY GALLERY - ABSTRACT AND FIGURATIVE PAINTINGS - LOS ANGELES,CA
1999 ZERO ONE GALLERY - GROUP AUCTION - ABSTRACT AND FIGURATIVE PAINTINGS - LOS ANGELES,CA
1999 CO-FOUNDER OF ARTSQUAT - EXPERIMENTAL, CONCEPTUAL ART - LOS ANGELES,CA
2005 HEADQUARTERS: SOLO EXHIBIT - TRIBAL.SEXUAL TRIBAL, MINIMALISM. SKECTHES AND PAINTINGS - LOS ANGELES,CA
2009 - 2011 PRIVATE EXHIBITIONS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - LOS ANGELES,CA
2013 GROUP SHOW AT THE ASHLEY PAIGE GALLERY - HOLLYWOOD, CA
2017 SOLO SHOW (TBA) - HOLLYWOOD, CA
DJ CRASH - LOS ANGELES,CA
SHIRLEY LEVI - LOS ANGELES,CA
IRIS STRAWFIELD - SAN FRANCISCO,CA
GRANT REYNOLDS - LOS ANGELES,CA
LOUIS HAGNEY - LOS ANGELES,CA
PATTY HEALY - LOS ANGELES,CA
NATALIE MILLER - LOS ANGELES,CA
ISABEL DESANTI - LOS ANGELES,CA
RUBEN FENWICK - LOS ANGELES,CA
IAN SMITH - TORONTO,CANADA
MARC JOFFE - WINDSOR,CANADA
ANTHONY GRAY - WINDSOR,CANADA
DON SCOTTI - LOS ANGELES,CA
DAN HELKA - DETROIT,MI
MARK SIMMONS - LOS ANGELS,CA
DEBBIE DIAMOND - LOS ANGELES,CA
GILROY ARIJON - TOKYO,JAPAN
KIM SU - TOKYO,JAPAN
STACY CASE - LOS ANGELES,CA
ELDON DAITWEILER - LOS ANGELES,CA
KATY GARAS - SANTA MONICA,CA
DANIEL FRANCO - NEW YORK,NY
SHIHO AMANO - NEW YORK,NY
MICHAEL HALE - LOS ANGELES,CA
GREG OTTO - LOS ANGELES,CA
MICHELLE LOLLI - LOS ANGELES,CA
What would you do if the landlord stopped collecting rent and allowed squatters to take over an abandoned Fairfax-district apartment right next to yours? Why, commandeer the empty site, run extension cords from your pad into the space and create an art collective, of course. Tha's exactly what host/artist - not to mention beautiful - ANDY SCHEER did when he brought together artists HOLLAND, DAVID FRUDIS, MICHAEL MORRISON, JOHNNY OTTO, and just plain old OTTO for ARTSQUAT recently. Judging by the refreshments (beer and a boozy pink punch - what squatter can afford champagne?), this was no fancy-shmancy party. Among the smart art tarts milling and swilling while reviewing the hand-painted photographs, illustrations, and paintings were actor ALEXIS ARQUETTE, superstar CANDYASS, hairchopper FRANKIE PAYNE, PETRA HAYDEN (formerly of THAT DOG), Aussie transplants BELINDA GAVIN and her hot boyfriend MULLY, saucy SELENA, who got into the spirit of the evening by painting "ARTSQUAT" across her breasts (now that's what we call titillating), club king JOSH WELLS, photographer ANDY DEVINE, cocksucker to the stars HAGATHA, the long-lost but not missed SHELVELVA KENNEDY-SINATRA, and brassy babe MISS ANDRA.
- LA WEEKLY, 1992