Zie Otto is a photographer of process. This fact might go unnoticed, as he works in a variety of modes, ranging from more or less conventional portraiture to studies in the minutiae of everyday objects. In whatever mode is chooses, a subject stands against its backdrop in such a manner that a kind of secret history is revealed. This history is secret not because it’s unknown, but because it’s too often overlooked. In this way, Otto restores identity to its proper place by placing is alongside natural processes.
Even in the photo titled Americanoh-New Glory Black Bora Air, the seemingly empty space that surrounds the centered figure is actually a representation of nothingness, like the air which allows our bodies to pass through it effortlessly. This elemental darkness serves to highlight the colors of the figures shoes, sweater, and paints, as well as her skin. More radically, however, the black backdrop could be said to symbolize the uncertainty that holds a person back in life, concretizing the nothingness that separates what a person is from what she wishes to become.