what do these words have in common? They are all tags I would give to Jeshaka LaVecchia's illustrations. I think I've seen these wonderfully furry, razor toothed creatures before... that one time at Blind Baby's Holiday. Lucky for Jes Ha Ka, she sees these creatures so much, she's created a whole body of work, and centered her career around them. Don't write these off as rudimentary, not only are the beasts anatomically correct and instinctively textural but I'm willing to bet there's some larger societal issue driving the creation of her images. I
personally cherish the cheeky flaws each of the characters portray; lust, vanity, alcoholism, insomnia. Her take on Falcor, complete with drunken passenger and glossy eyes, shows a mature take on magical realism and may offer an insightful query to the tales origins in germany where alcohol is poured freely, as opposed to the American movie version. Maybe next she could render Bastian taking advantage of the Childlike Empress."
"Imagine that Ren & Stimpy procreated with Domo and their spawn was raised by Keith Haring. Got that image? Then you have a good idea of the wacky art produced by Pittsburgh designer Jes Ha Ka, who will be selling her wares at next month’s Sundae Market.
Her illustrations are somewhat derivative but tons of fun and reminiscent of the early 80s/early 90s, with their day-glo colors and heavily inked outlines. Anthropomorphic food is a recurring theme. Hot dogs, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, hamburgers all make appearances. One could make an argument that her semi-grotesque depiction of America’s favorite junk foods is a commentary on gluttony, obesity, and the evils of advertising sugar and fat to children. Or perhaps it’s just an acid trip down memory lane with Mayor McCheese and the California Raisins.
But Jeshaka’s most interesting work comes in the form of “BabyMeat,” her new zine. From the few black and white line drawings on her website it’s difficult to guess what future issues of “BabyMeat” will hold; but regardless of content, this venture is noteworthy in that she’s going old school and using a medium that the Internet all but eradicated 20 years ago.
She also dabbles in jewelry, which is just off the wall as her illustrations. Food, again, makes many appearances but there is one piece that is particularly irreverent.
“Hey, friend! I really like those pink earrings you’re wearing. What are they, flowers? No? Oh. They’re tits.”