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Exhibition - Jean Wells: Icons of Desire

Jean Wells is a San Diego-based artist known for her large-scale, eye-dazzling mosaic sculptures inspired by iconic popular culture and brand name products. Wells’ art addresses consumerist culture in a highly accessible and awe inspiring manner, yet hints at a more tongue-in-cheek or serious ideology and intent.

Working in a similar oeuvre like the artists Andy Warhol, Wayne Thiebaud, and Jeff Koons, Wells explores our growing nostalgia and relationship with everyday Americana subject matter such as ice cream, candy, food and drink, toys, graphic design and themes related to beauty and body image. It’s not surprising that, before maturing her professional contemporary artistic career, Wells worked early in her life in graphic design and advertising.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Wells was raised within a well-known artistic family. Her father was an accomplished mosaicist and her uncle was a nationally recognized painter, muralist and illustrator. She received her formal arts education at the University of Washington and the Burnley Art School (now the Art Institute of Seattle).

Wells has established an outstanding exhibition record both regionally and internationally. In recent years, Wells has exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, the Juan Antonio Perez Simon Collection in Mexico City, and other contemporary art institutions and galleries in the Netherlands, Greece, India, Spain, China, England, Mexico and France. Additionally, she has become a popular exhibiting artist with the international art fair circuits in Basel, Berlin, Paris, Hong Kong, London, Aspen, Chicago, Santa Fe, San Francisco, and New York.

Whether it’s a six-foot tall sculpture of an ice cream cone or Wells’ most recent work, a Smart Car sculpture (to be unveiled at her OMA solo exhibition), audiences of all ages will enjoy her playful sense of humor, adding color and perspective on our daily consumption of American popular culture imagery and objects.

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