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Jorge Wellesley The Power of Words and the Words of Power


happylucky no.1 is proud to present an exhibition by Jorge Wellesley titled The Power of Words and the Words of Power. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York.

Jorge Wellesley works in a variety of mediums, and this exhibition offers a selection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures. This range shows less interest in medium specificity, and more conceptual, political, and philosophical thought. 

Born and raised in Cuba, Wellesley has long been exposed to both the revolutionary expectations and the fundamental realities of his country. Language and text is a major presence throughout the artist’s work since it is a vehicle for propaganda, advertising, and art. Wellesley often manipulates language to his own advantage to undermine and question the text and imagery that we absorb at a constant and overwhelming rate. Whether it is capitalist or autocratic, language is omnipresent and meant to be consumed. However, mock-advertising lights in the exhibition, like the aggressively bold ZEN or a large piece that blinks between history and story, wittily illustrate that any dependability to be had in language is also a fallacy.

The recurring image of billboards, along with neon signs, streetlights, and shipping containers also heavily populate Wellesley’s work. Both corporate and governmental forces use these objects or forms of structure as launchpads for agendas. The ghostly blankness or odd, poetic statements found on the different iterations of the sculptural or painted billboards hint at something more surreal. These objects are finally liberated of their purpose and of their human impositions. The pale silhouettes lack the confines of our languages and our indifference to its subjectivity and truthfulness. The statements elegantly subvert and question the dissonance between honesty and language.

Jorge Wellesley (b. 1979) is originally from Havana, Cuba. He also received three degrees in Cuba from institutions such as the Fine Arts Academy, San Alejandro and Instituto Superior de Arte. Wellesley has exhibited locally and internationally at venues such as the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany; Bildmuseet, Umea, Västerbotten, Sweden; Belkin Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; The Queens Museum, NY; The Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba, and the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba. 

In addition to his various solo and group exhibitions, Wellesley has participated in esteemed residencies, including the 2017 RU Artist in Residency in Brooklyn, NY and a 2015 fellowship residency at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT. His work can also be found in the collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; The Rubin Foundation, New York City, NY; and various private collections in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. The artist currently lives and works in West NY, NJ.


For more information, please contact Zach Wampler at