Normal History Vol. 641: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, 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 37-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

We tend to think the job of a political illustrator is to illuminate important, but likely short-lived concerns. One day the pandemic will be a memory and much of the imagery created about it will lose its educational value. It’s a very aware illustrator who aims to make work that intends to have a life beyond current events. This could be done through the quality of the art or by placing the specifics within a timeless narrative.

In the case of Connection And Isolation…, David Lester gives the art longevity beyond the pandemic by using masks and distance as a vehicle to illustrate overarching issues. Community. Forced or chosen, how do we organize the care of those who don’t have choices about where they reside? And yes, it has been noted that it appears to be all women in the illustration. No doubt a nod to the fact that it is mostly women in care-giving positions.

I Know A Little Bit” from Calico Kills The Cat (K, 1988) (download):