Greg Otto’s crayon-colored, Pop-Art inspired paintings of Baltimore landmarks – the Domino Sugar factory, the Bromo Seltzer Tower, the Hippodrome and hundreds more – have made him one of Baltimore’s most recognized and beloved artists. For nearly 30 years he has drawn inspiration from the quirky buildings of Baltimore’s industrial past, famous landmarks and storefront churches alike, distilling their beauty and zapping them with color. Towering or tiny, dignified or drab — they take on new glamour when seen through his eyes.
And we’re not the only town that loves him. His work received national attention a decade ago, when the American Institute of Architects/Chicago asked him to paint a series of Chicago’s awe-inspiring buildings for the 2004 AIA Convention there.
A few years ago he began work on a group of paintings of New York City – a city Otto has been fond of since the early 70’s, when the legendary abstract expressionist art dealer Betty Parsons included him in her stable of artists. At the time, Otto was working in a style that could hardly more be different than his current color-infused canvases – minimalist abstractions in pencil on paper which are both subtle and fascinating, and which he is still returns to occasionally.