Woody De Othello / Karma
Woody De Othello (b. 1991) is a Miami-born, California-based artist whose subject matter spans household objects, bodily features, and the natural world. Everyday artifacts of the domestic tables, chairs, television remotes, telephone receivers, lamps, air purifiers, et cet era—are anthropomorphized in glazed ceramic, bronze, wood, and glass. Othello’s sense of humor manifests across his work in visual puns and cartoonish figuration. “I choose objects that are already very human,” says Othello. “The objects mimic actions that humans perform; they’re extensions of our own actions. We use phones to speak and to listen, clocks to tell time, vessels to hold things, and our bodies are indicators of all of those.” Othello’s scaled-up representations of these objects often slump over, overcome with gravity, as if exhausted by their own use. This sophisticated gravitational effect is a central formal challenge in his work. Informed by his own Haitian ancestry, Othello takes interest in the supernatural objects of Vodou folklore, nkisi figures, and other animist artifacts that inspire him.