Oil Pet Portraits by Wendy Gell
Exhibition: June 7, 2002 – July 19, 2002
see Wendy's Artist Reception : Sunday, June 23, 2002, 4-6 PM
Wendy Gell’s portraits of her dog and cat friends celebrate the personality of each of her subjects, capturing the unique expression and the comical and whimsical character in each distinct furry form with bright strokes of oil paint. "It’s a psychic connection between the dog and me. It’s like a heart connection – they just tell me who they are…" With two pets of her own, a Maltese named "Jewel," and a gentle rescuee named "Lily," these paintings started out as an effort to help the dogs stranded in the New Haven Animal Shelter, as a prize in the annual Benefit auction "Making Woofie." Gell’s renderings certainly reveal the quirky humanness of these animals facing doom if not rescued.
Gell is an artist and jewelry designer, and a resident of Guilford, CT. In 1974, an invented birthday gift to a choreographer friend -- a Swarovski crystal-encrusted bracelet, called the "Wristie" -- made her the "Darling of the Fashion Industry." Her jewelry was sold at Bloomingdale’s, Saks 5th Avenue, and Harrod’s in London, and seen on the covers of Paris Vogue, Cosmopolitan, People, and Vanity Fair, worn by Claudia Schiffer, Isabella Rossilini, and Cher, and collected by Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Elton John, and Hillary Clinton. Gell created character jewelry for Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Snow White, accessories for Who Framed Roger Rabbit? & Dick Tracy, and Runway jewelry for Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass.
In 1997, Gell’s jewelry grew to the canvas when she presented a show of Byzantine-style jeweled Icon panels at the York Square Gallery -- canvases painted and encrusted with jewels, and shells, showing religious and fantasy themes. In one, a Mona Lisa beneath a Jeweled American Flag has one hand covering her other wrist; behind, it is pouring out rivers of jewels and pearls. Gell muses, "Mona Lisa smiles because she’s wearing a new wristy."
Gell’s work has been shown at the Stony Creek, Guilford, and Greenwich Libraries, and the New Canaan Historical Society. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of the City of New York, the Walt Disney Archives, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. This February, Gell’s erotic fantasy paintings were in a four person show at the Hygienic Arts Co-op, New London, along with those of "Amy Blue," Eric Hammer, and Luis Joachim Martins. In April, her dog portraits appeared at the Wall Street Gallery in Madison, and in a two-page article in the Shore Line Times.
Commissions available for portraits of your pet of any kind -- Prices start
at $225, professionally painted in
oil-on-canvas medium. Capture the personality and essence of your pet friend!
Visit Wendy Gell's website at
or write to Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org
The gallery is in the lobby of The York Square Cinema, 61 Broadway, in the Yale University campus. Gallery Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday 5 to 10 PM; Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 1 to 10 PM. Admission Not Required to view artwork. (Access.)
The York Square Cinema Gallery
61 Broadway, New Haven, CT
Johnes Ruta, (203) 387-4933,