Parents and teachers share an unending role. Their words of a moment may change a life and be remembered forever. Witness this story, from a young man who was thinking about the nature of parenting one day, and found his professional travels re-routed by a teacher.
The “Mother and Son” series was completed in my final year at Sarah Lawrence, when I was studying a pre-med program along with art. The series was the first step toward looking at the maternal aspect of my emotional core and opened up a world of realization within me. In the quiet determined atmosphere of professor Ursula Schneider’s painting studio, it actually felt safer not to hide. This small room, in a big world, held endless epiphanies. When I struggled with the direction of a painting, Ursula would say “if it’s bad, make it worse. If you’re afraid of it… then you must do it!” I knew compromise was not a path I could walk with ease. I did not want to look back at my life and say, “I had really wanted to be an artist…” Taking no prisoners, I left confident that a doctor’s life was not for me.
So I became a professional artist. My work with models, landscapes and animals in the following years has helped express the paternal relationships of my life, further reinforcing my belief to always follow your heart.
—Agamemnon Otero '01
Paintings from Mother & Son series by Agamemnon Otero '01