Made uncanny by enlargement, distortion, and anthropomorphism, Woody De Othello’s reinventions of common household articles consider the psychological relationship between body and object. His works embrace anxiety and vulnerability, and register how devices, through their use, can carry traces of human weariness and activity. Fountain features water spouts and tap handles, twisted and knotted into a non-functional object that dwarfs the viewer in scale. While the reference object channels a thin stream of water, Othello’s colossal sculpture implies the bodily threat of a menacing burst. Fountain unsettles conventions of physicality, re-evaluating the subject’s purpose and meaning through its idiosyncratic rendering. As Othello states, his work is “an attempt to have a more bodily experience in relation to the objects. In my perspective, there’s this thing with scale that makes you more aware of yourself. It’s a heightened experience. The size, in conjunction with this droopiness, creates tension—a sense of precarity. There’s a lot of anxious buildup when constructing some of the objects.”
Woody De Othello, Fountain, 2021, bronze, 117 × 107 × 54 inches; 297 × 272 × 137 cm, Edition 3 of 3, 2AP. Courtesy the artist and Karma, New York and Jessica Silverman.