Normal History Vol. 330: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 31-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Here’s the query I mentioned previously.

Understanding that you represent literary fiction, I hope you will consider Holding Up The Falling Snake Sky (complete at 94,800 words).

Art museum curator Nadine MacHilltop doesn’t like Martin Lewis, but she loves his bold, political paintings. When Martin reveals that he’s a narcissist, Nadine’s controlling nature kicks in big time. Having grown up with a narcissistic father, Nadine understands the risks of befriending Martin. She’s committed to keeping her distance while she organizes a solo exhibition for him, but Martin isn’t easy to control.

While visiting Martin’s island studio to select paintings for the exhibition, Nadine meets Martin’s eccentric psychologist, who she impresses with her uncanny ability to interpret abstract paintings. Nadine is convinced that she has discovered the cure for narcissism, even though it is widely regarded as an incurable personality disorder. In her blind rush to claim notoriety, Nadine’s focus shifts from Martin’s paintings to the talk on narcissism she intends to give at the art opening.

When an invitation to the opening is inadvertently sent to a group of environmental activists, they see an opportunity to protest a coal mine threatening to pollute local shellfish beds that supply oysters to Japan. The activists make a video using photographs of Martin’s paintings and post it on a Tokyo TV station’s website. After the video goes viral, a team of Japanese journalists flies to Vancouver to find the enigmatic painter. The journalists burst through the door of the museum, interrupting Nadine’s searing portrayal of Martin as a selfish man who lacks empathy, leaving the audience wondering if Martin is a heroic political artist or the evil manipulator Nadine describes.

“Ribbon” from Flood Plain (K, 1993) (download):