Woody De Othello

Friday, November 1, 2019Sunday, April 5, 2020

Woody De Othello
Defeated, depleted, 2018. Ceramic, underglaze, and glaze; 38 × 22 × 19 inches; Gift of Tad Freese and the Lipman Family Foundation; 2018.13; Image courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Oakland-based artist Woody De Othello creates anthropomorphized household objects in ceramic. Belying their cheery and colorful veneers is a darkly comedic sense of exhaustion. Born in Miami to a family of Haitian descent, Othello is interested in the nature of many African objects, which offer both ritual and utilitarian functions and possess a spirit of their own. His sculptures express a tension between the animate and inanimate and draw humor from a place of pain. For his project at the SJMA—the artist’s first solo museum presentation—Othello is creating a new body of work based around his Defeated, depleted (2018), a sculpture recently acquired by San José Museum of Art.​