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A new space for contemporary art in Puerto Rico


San Juan, PUERTO RICO-   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.


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