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An irregular shaped abstract painting with large regions of black

In 1973, literary critic Harold Bloom published The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. His central thesis was that poets are both hindered and encouraged in their creative process by the ambiguous relationship they necessarily maintain with precursor poets. A similarly fraught and productive relationship exists between visual artists and their own forerunners.

Painter Angel Otero and critic-curator Christian Viveros-Fauné examine both the anxiety and advantages of influence in a freewheeling conversation that centers on Otero’s relationship with various generations of artists as well as on the Puerto Rican painter’s exhibition Angel Otero: Elegies, currently on view at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.