Normal History Vol. 696: 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 39-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Sometimes it seems preposterous that art could have any sort of impact on the way the world functions. Yet it can and does all the time. The idea that art has no power seems dystopian in the worst possible way. Some people may be more or less impervious to art riddled with obtuse social perspectives, but may be affected by less obvious overtures. A weird chord or an abstract turn of phrase might provide an opportunity to re-contextualize concepts spinning out and away from these subtler gestures. An inability to grapple with how obtuse or subtle to be is likely the number one cause of steering away from creating political art. Right up there with perceived futility and the risk of getting it wrong.

Crimson Dragnet” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):