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A locally-focused art gallery breaks with tradition to feature German artist Sebastian Otto



Sebastian Otto
Opening 7 p.m. Friday
On display through Sept. 30
DNA Galleries
1705-B N.W. 16th

Online social networking is usually reserved for bitching about work and sharing videos of people suffering trauma in their bathing-suit area, but it's not all a cultural wasteland, as evidenced by

The networking platform is designed for urban and contemporary artists who want to make contacts, find hip galleries and raise their international visibility. Artist Dylan Bradway used the site to land a show in Germany last year and at 7 p.m. this Friday, his gallery, DNA Galleries,  will debut a show with work by Germany's Sebastian Otto.

Bradway's work spent time on the walls of the Otto's Nice/Nice Exhibition Space in Hanover, thanks to connections made on the site. But Bradway insisted that he didn't set up Otto's exhibition out of obligation, but rather a genuine affinity for his style.

"We really liked his art, and after we spent some time with him and looked over his work, we wanted to see if he'd be interested," Bradway said. "He said he wanted to do a show in the states, so we jumped on it and asked if he wanted to show at our space."

The show is comprised of portraits, mostly acrylics on canvas. They often depict black-haired children, with one particular child, presumably a girl, popping up again and again. When asked who the girl is, Otto said, "The question is if it's really a girl after all."

"He does seem like he focuses on the female form specifically, or it could just be that I interpret it as female," Bradway said. "It is storybook-influenced, childlike imagery with a deeper meaning. It's kind of somber, but happy at the same time, with lots of muted colors and hard lines."

Otto had a hand in starting the Art Bastard website as a way for artists of his ilk and their patrons to keep up with one another better. Bradway said it is a valuable reference when trying to track down galleries, which, according to Otto, isn't any easier in Germany than it is in Oklahoma.

"There are a lot of traditional galleries in Hanover, but my gallery is the only one that shows young contemporary art," Otto said.

Bradway said DNA Galleries usually focuses on local artists, but exceptions can be made for the right artist. Unfortunately, Otto won't be able to make the trip to Oklahoma for the opening, which might make it a bit trickier to get his paintings to sell.

"I've been thinking about that; it is a little difficult," Bradway said. "We might have him write an explanation of his work and about his ideas. People do like to talk to the artists, but at some point, it comes down to whether or not you like the work. It is nice to meet the artist and put the face with the work, but you can't do that with every artist. So it's more about the work than who is doing it." "?Charles Martin

above Sebastian Otto's "It Can't Rain All The Time"


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