Della Wells

The Weaker Sex?, 1997
Pastel on paper
30.13 x 22.25 in
SKU: 8425c
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"The Weaker Sex?" is an original pastel on paper from 1997 by Della Wells. It is signed in the lower left. The image depicts a woman and a man amid lush foliage. There is a serpent in the lower left hand corner of the work that has a single eye--often represented in Wells' work as the all-seeing eye of God. They appear to be in the Garden of Eden. The woman, who occupies the center of the composition, holds a whip. A man stands on the left hand side of the work; only half his face is represented. The snake seems to be cut in half, perhaps from the woman's weapon. She is portrayed as a powerful figure, eclipsing that of the man. The representation of the woman shows that she is not the weaker sex. She, and not the man, has taken care of the problem. Artwork Size: 30 1/8" x 22 1/4" Frame Size: 39 1/8" x 31 1/8" Artist Bio: Born in 1951, Della Wells grew up in Milwaukee. As a child and young person, she did not want to become an artist but a storyteller; to this day she considers herself to be a “visual storyteller.” She sold her first work of art at age 13, but she did not begin working as an artist until she was 42. She has said, “I didn’t do anything for a long time, because I didn’t think I had anything to say. You can draw, you may know how to do things technically, but I think to be a true artist you have to have something to say. You have to have a vision.” Her creative process stems from her personal experiences and her works are often inspired by her troubled childhood. Known for her collages, drawings, dolls, paintings, and pastels, Wells has created a magical land called “Mambo” populated and ruled primarily by black women. Wells is a self-taught artist and her work has been successful in “outsider art” venues, including the Outsider Art exhibition in New York. Wells’ art is exhibited in more than 100 private and public collections. Her work has been purchased by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her collages are sold at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.