Normal History Vol. 648: 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.

Early in a political artist’s output, there might be a sense of urgency to get very direct messages to people who would then, ideally, re-assess their beliefs and change them. Change is at the core of political art, and the next phase of a political artist’s work might be the result of changes made in their own perspective after meeting a bunch of like-minded artists. Poets, for instance. So, after the stint in Overtland, one might go to Thinlyveiledville for a while, intending for things like shoes to mean something other than shoes. Even farther along in a political artist’s life (we can’t usually call this a career, because mostly there’s no money in this enterprise), it seems a good idea to move away from both locations (Overtland and Thinlyveiledville) and recognize that people aren’t spending a lot of time analyzing art (political or otherwise), so it might be a good idea to add the text. Just to make sure.

Dead Birds Feet” from Water Cuts My Hands (K/Matador, 1990) (download):