Woody De Othello’s Cool Composition explores the history of the still life and modernist grids while also alluding to global warming and the psychological associations of temperature. Born in Miami to a family of Haitian descent, Othello was enamored by the voodoo vessels said to disable negative energy and often saw household objects as enchanted. During the humid Floridian summers, few objects were more enigmatic and transformative than the living-room fan, which acted as the heart and social hub of the home. Cool Composition consists of a typical home fan, modeled in clay and cast in bronze, and is accompanied by several ceramic stools and citrus trees. Heretofore, Othello has made three small fan sculptures – one of which, titled Cooling Down (2018), is in the collection of SFMoMA. Their characterful forms are subtly anthropomorphic – they seem to breathe, sigh, and sometimes even whisper.
Woody De Othello (born 1991 in Miami) has a BFA from the Florida Atlantic University with a concentration in ceramics and an MFA from the California College of Arts in San Francisco. Othello’s work was recently on view at the Akron Art Museum as part of the ‘FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial’ and in the ‘Bay Area Now 8’ at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Othello had work featured in the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial in Slovenia and a solo show opened at the San Jose Museum of Art in November 2019. He lives and works in Berkeley.
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