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ART / PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION

John John Jesse : Sex, Drugs and Punk Rock

The work of John John Jesse may have caught your eye in beautiful.bizarre Issue 005 | June 2014 “Inked” special feature.

With pinkish doll like heroines and cartoonish creatures borrowed from both Japanese pop culture and religious Fine Art, the paintings of this Pennsylvanian artist provocatively mix pop surrealism with references to punk culture. Not surprising then that this former musician describes himself as a ‘punk painter’. The Sex Pistols and Ramones are indeed in the air and the infamous bassist of the iconic British band, Sid Vicious, is a recurrent icon in Jesse’s paintings, with his shocking nazi cross t-shirt and heroin addiction. Indeed, anarchy and chaos, two popular wisdoms of the punk generation, are explored throughout his painted scenes, where scantily dressed young lolitas play with weapons, drugs, alcohol and lesbianism …

With a cynical and playful eroticism, Jesse depicts his girls with tattoos, piercings and cute lingerie, calling to voyeurism with their exhibitionist and rebellious manners. Flirting with the beholder from their teenage rooms, they hesitate between lustful parties and violent fights against society. While the symbols of childhood (super-heroe costumes and toys) and pure love (the anatomical hearts) are present, it is undeniably the decay of innocence that haunts Jesse’s work, deliciously reminiscent of Iggy Pop’s famous song, ‘Lust for Life’.

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About Author

Author of several books and bilingual writer from Paris, France.

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