Todd Lesmeister – Anniversary Art Exhibition
My drawings are illustrated narratives that strive to be both dramatic and humorous at the same time. The main themes in the work consist of ideas on reincarnation, the co-existence of man and animal and the duality that animals have in mythology since the beginning of human history. I refer to the past in order to depict the common thread we have with our ancestors and to depict the idea that even as the landscape changes and technology advances, human nature tends to be consistent. People as flawed creatures are my main incentive in these drawings. Our self-destructive nature and our refusal to open our eyes and accept a constantly evolving world of ideas are prominent messages in the work.
The drawings are a means to an end to depict a storyline or tale. The process is a variation on collage, but instead of cutting and pasting images, I arrange them and then draw them to make one cohesive composition. Most of the subjects in the work are taken from early 20th century mug shots of petit thieves and crooks. This allows me to introduce my ideas of reincarnation by resurrecting a life that history has forgotten.
Animals tend to have a dualistic value in mythology. They can represent the positive and the negative aspects of the natural and supernatural world. They can act as guardians, protectors and as symbols of substance and nourishment to people or they can represent something harmful, dangerous or deceiving to humans. In many of my drawings they represent both at the same time.