Normal History Vol. 523: 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 35-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

I love this pairing! David’s illustration of the quote by Martin Luther King Jr. and “Convince Yourself” with its simmering ambiguity. The image and the lyrics don’t intend to create a combined impact on a single topic, but the elements feel united against injustice and apathy.

Ambiguity in art can be annoying, but it’s also part of what makes art in any form resonate with an audience. I suppose that’s true of the portraits I’ve been painting for the past three years. For the most part, they’re not overtly political, but the historical context of my work as a cultural activist of the feminist variety is understood because I primarily exhibit them on Facebook, where either people already know me or they can get to know me. 

Convince Yourself
In a dream you’re swimming
Through a pool of wax
This night sky dazzles onward
Convince yourself that you’re awakening
Convince yourself you need not sleep

David: guitar that sounds like an organ
me: vocals and guitar “solo”

“Convince Yourself” from The Family Swan (Kill Rock Stars, 2002) (download):