Neo-Expressionistic painter Johnny Otto has spent the last 30 years in Los Angeles as an outsider who has somehow managed to show with David Hockney (Angel Art Fundraiser Auction) and at other influential galleries including 01 Gallery, Headquarters, Jeff Hamilton's Street Art Fair, Radiant Space, Ministry Gallery, Art Squat, Novian-Miller Space, and many others. His work is collected around the world by Art Collectors, Fellow Artists, Designers, from Los Angeles to Japan, Germany, Italy and France.
Otto is self-taught contemporary artist based in Los Angeles. He was born in Bay Village, Ohio, the grandson of Czech and German immigrants. Often compared to Basquiat, Haring and Picasso, Otto’s work is greatly influenced by a trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts, which he visited as a child and where he was exposed to their vast collection of African Art.
Inspired by one of Keith Haring's untitled works, Za Vidění (Beyond Vision) is about having the ability to see what is required from
us as we move in the future, and the willingness to work towards accomplishing that positive change. As Helen Keller said,
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision."
“In the summer of 2017 it was a trip to The Broad Museum in Los Angeles that pushed Otto's work even further toward his expressionistic inclinations.
It was there that, for the first time, he saw a Haring and a Basquiat up close and personal and it the same room. Until that point, Otto had only see
photos on-line, in documentaries or in books. While studying one of the Basquiat's, Otto realized that it was quite dirty around the edges, as if it
had been in someone's basement or neglected for decades. He also noticed that there was a piece of gum under the paint and a shoe print, presumably
Basquiat's own. The use of large amounts of paint, and the vibrancy of the colors, left a large impact on Otto and his attitude towards painting.
Up until that point, he had been extremely careful and reserved with his pieces, not allowing them to be too messy or wild. That all changed.”
- Art Reveal Magazine
Za Vidění was featured in Art Reveal Magazine in 2019. Mentioned as a tribute to Keith Haring's work and his artistic legacy.