Othello De'Souza-Hartley is a mixed media artist. His artistic mediums include photography, film, performance, sound, drawing and painting. He received an MA in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art and previously studied photography at Central St Martins. De’Souza-Hartley’s work explores identity, emotions, masculinity, gender, and the changing perception of the body.
Othello De'Souza Hartley
"Othello's ability to create both a beautiful yet an un nerving feeling for the viewer, which enables you to go back to the original terminology of Art, the output being simple expression. Expression of Othello's emotions and reactions to society, is embodied on each canvases. Through the entire archive of Othello's work the viewer is taken on a journey of the Artist, whilst exploring identity, reaction, life experiences and self evaluation.
This is explored through psychological themes through both his Blackness of his culture, and the colour Black, texture, lighting and concept. Specifically the concept of embracing what is contemporary whilst maintaining an interest for traditional artistic methods.
Othello's works are layers upon layers of emotions that is reflective of exploring the mind, society and emotion. The realties one faces as black man, self reflection and evolution as an individual captivates and enables the viewer to understand that each represent something symbolic for each individual, regardless of race." - Sade English
Othello's work showcases a combination of self taught and traditional methods fine Art methods. Layers upon layers of oil paintings, combined with heavy structure, and bursts of colour has becomes his signature style of painting. The educational system always focuses on those before us, however Othello has notably been inspired by those before him, such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Edvard Munch, however inspired by how the Artis's process emotions and mood rather than the exact stylised methods of their works. Othello's focus and clear message with all of his works, is being that each canvas, photograph, film or performance all convey a mood.
He was nominated for Peer to Peer, a group show of 14 artists, selected by 14 curators and collectors from across the UK and China, for his Masculinity Project. He is also the recipient of numerous commissions from a range of institutions including, Museum of Liverpool, National Portrait Gallery, The National Trust, The Photographers’ Gallery, Camden Arts Centre and Platform for Art.
De’Souza-Hartley recently received a commission from Autograph for a group show taking place February 2021.
1.I AM 6
2.I AM 4
Othello explore's the human body in all forms, his expression is raw and rich to his own identity, this is a key factor, as he has a serious of works-exploring masculinity. Within Othello portfolio of works, he obtains a project which explores notions of masculinity through photography and video.
Othello's inspiration came from questions about his own identity and through his own understanding of masculinity, as both a Black individual and a black man at that. Due to there being many stereotypes all individuals are instantly projected, from adolescent up till adults, on how one should carry themselves, behave and simply be. Gender and gender stereotypical roles are apparent, especially with race on top of this.
Masculinity Project 2013
Masculinity Project 2013
Othello's Masculinity project is a clear reflection on the misconceptions and stereotypes that fall on and still does to this day surrounding African & Caribbean culture specifically the sterotypes that were and are given whilst growing as a Black man in the UK, England.
On many occasions, Othello's sexuality has been questioned simply for who he is as an individual. From childhood to adulthood the constant concern or worry of how one would be perceived is a continuous battle, specifically as a black man.
"There are multiple stereotypes about how a Black man should look and behave"
- Othello De'Souza-Hartley
Masculinity Project 2012
Othello explores and challenges this in his Masculinity Project, and here we are able to see the Artists explored, vulnerability, strength, love, Intimacy, and the truth through a mans eyes, and from in front of lens. Traditionally women are the muse within the Arts, however here Othello explores what is is not known as common to the arts, fitting the concept Anticlone effortlessly.
Othello's believe are that the most prevailing attitude I would say whether consciously or unconsciously is the ‘male guise’. Women have always been the object of this guise, confronted by images in magazines and advertising of what they should aspire to. A similar thing is now happening to men, and is now openly discussed and debated. This is what Othello's work enables and starts both conversations and debates.
This is a reoccurring thought that all individuals face at adolescent age, this combined with being of African decent combined brought pressure due to cultural difference. Through this recognition of recognising identity, social and cultural restraints from early ages, Othello explored and continues to explore this through his Artistry.
Othello's work in some way or another explores identity, and perception of the human body, through abstract painting, drawings, photography and film all of which enable his rich essence and understanding as a multidisciplinary Artist as a subject .