Woody De Othello
In the sculptures of Berkeley-based artist Woody De Othello (born 1991), everyday domestic artifacts—tables, chairs, television remotes, telephone receivers, lamps, air purifiers—are anthropomorphized in glazed ceramic, bronze, wood and glass. Othello’s scaled-up representations of these objects often slump over, overcome with gravity, as if exhausted by their own use. Informed by his own Haitian ancestry, Othello takes interest in the supernatural objects of Vodou folklore. Like the Vodou vessels, nkisi figures and other animist artifacts that inspire him, Othello’s ceramic characters come alive. “A form of contemporary nkisi, Othello’s vessels and misshapen objects seem to react to and hold the energies of the space they inhabit,” writes Lauren Dickens, “suggesting the power of pressures endured but not seen.” This comprehensive, fully illustrated volume explores Othello’s ceramic works from 2016 through 2020, and includes three new essays by Lauren Dickens, Mario Gooden and Ricky Swallow.