Oakland-based artist Woody De Othello creates anthropomorphized household objects in ceramic. Belying their cheery and colorful veneers is a darkly comedic sense of exhaustion. Born in Miami to a family of Haitian descent, Othello is interested in the nature of many African objects, which offer both ritual and utilitarian functions and possess a spirit of their own. His sculptures express a tension between the animate and inanimate and draw humor from a place of pain. For his project at the SJMA—the artist’s first solo museum presentation—Othello is creating a new body of work based around his Defeated, depleted (2018), a sculpture recently acquired by San José Museum of Art.