I wanted to do this post as a surprise for Todd, so if the image quality isn’t as good as normal you’ll know its because my graphic artist-man didn’t help me. Over Memorial Day in 2009, we made the effort to find dog sitters for our pack of wild ravening beasts and made a journey to San Francisco, in an attempt to experience art in a bigger city (not that we don’t love the SLC art scene, but you know what I mean).
One of the coolest artists we found on that trip had an exhibit in a gallery in the Mission District. We were lucky enough that day to see her twice, once in the Michael Rosenthal Gallery and again in the window of a book store called Dog Eared Books.
The first and most obvious thing about Veronica that is super cool is her name. Who wouldn’t love to be named “De Jesus.” But her art is pretty awesome too. There is something very childlike about it, with simple lines and subjects that honestly remind me of being young.
What I’ve read about Veronica, is that her family moved around a lot when she was a kid. She spent a lot of time traveling about in old gas-guzzling classic cars. And her art looks to me like Veronica was brought up very much as a tom-boy, and this is reflected in her drawings of cars and sports figures.
Another thing I like about her art, is that I think Veronica is reanacting certain scenes from her childhood. She isn’t afraid to play in her art. She shows icons from her childhood – like classic Impala cars- as nearly magical figures. I think Todd will agree that certain characters and experiences -even songs, toys or dorky fashions – that we remember from when we were kids live on larger than life in our memories.
Veronica has also created a huge memorial wall, filled with small sketches in the window of a San Francisco book store. Each drawing memorializes an individual who has passed on. I love this wall for many reasons. First, I love it when artists aren’t afraid to put their art in a setting outside a gallery and make it more accessible to the public. Two, the drawings are beautiful and I love the pop culture references as well as the way she has memorialized people in her community. And three, I love the way it seems to have become such a landmark for the neighborhood. At least, we heard about it more than once while we were wandering the streets of the Mission.
We talked to Veronica recently, we were looking to buy one of her Hulk or Jesus drawings. Here’s what she told us about these drawings:
“I started drawing Jesus just because I like him and my recent Hulk images all have beards. (Jesus was my first inspiration for this.) Beards represent a holy place, often the beards represent or show they are with God. I wanted to play around with my Hulks seeking a higher ground hence they wear beards.”
Hulk seeking higher ground? Hell yeah!
Well, take a look at the art of Veronica DeJesus and drop us a comment and let us know what you think. And here’s a link to her website, too.