Woody De Othello


watercolor on paper
16 x 12 inches

When I’m making drawings, I’m referencing stuff in my house, but I’ve been thinking about palm trees. They remind me of living in South Florida, but they’re also super tropical. Palm trees are a sacred plant in the Yoruba religion; they made palm oil. So the plants in my work are a metaphor for taking care and giving life. – Woody De Othello

With his flowing line work and lively color, Woody De Othello brings to life inanimate objects in his sculptures and paintings, infusing his artwork with a powerful psychological element. Fans, clocks, fountains, pottery, and furniture grow hands and ears or bend and slump over with their moods, and plants are often present to bring life to the interior and exterior scenes. In this work, the verdant trees and bushes seem to dance along the path with personality and vitality. Born in Miami to Haitian parents, Othello takes inspiration from his ancestry, inspired by Vodou folklore, nkisi figures, and the Yoruba religion. De Othello’s work was included in Quiet as It’s Kept, the 2022 Whitney Biennial, and is represented in the collections of the Aishti Foundation, Beirut; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; LACMA, Los Angeles; MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Art, Rome; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.