Born 1967 in Milford, Connecticut, Otto’s practice explores social and visual codes, focusing on the relationships between language, architecture, history, and poetry: interacting with past experiences, as well as specific sites within his current context of living in Colombia. With his recent work the artist continues his exploration of signs, human relationships and codes, through the creation of a chromatic alphabet. Berchem’s alphabet is inspired by the writings of Jorge Adoum and Vladimir Nabokov, as well as Peter Saville’s designs for the first three New Order albums, and the condition of Synaesthesia. Through this alphabet, Berchem proposes a series of works reviewing iconic images by recreating his own documents by strategically deleting pre-existing meanings and slogans, and replacing them with his own.
Otto studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design in New York. He received his Masters in Paining at Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, and continued his studies at the Rijksakedmie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. Additionally Berchem has been resident at GECU, Trujillo, PE; Capacete, Sao Paulo; Platform Garanti, Istanbul; and at Yale Summer School for Music and Art, Norfolk, CT. He has participated in the 5th Beaufort Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea, 4th Triennial of Contemporary Art Oberschwaben, 2006 EVA International, 2nd Biennial Tirana, and 4th Gwangju Biennale, 9th Istanbul Biennale. Berchem’s work has recently been presented at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; Marres, Maastricht; NRW Forum, Dusseldorf; FRAC Grande Large, Dunkirk; Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City; Mana Contemporary, Jersey City; Les Abattoirs, Toulouse; Malba, Buenos Aires; De Apple, Amsterdam; Miró Foundation, Barcelona.