Jessica, Mike, 1998
1998 by Mike (or Jessica)
Found 07/2011, Goodwill (2222 and Lamar)
The actual artist of Jessica, Mike, 1998 is unknown, but because of the overall composition of the image and the relative height of the two subjects, we assume that the picture is an illustration of two siblings by the younger of the pair. In many ways, the world of Jessica resembles, even parodies, the world of The Little Prince. In that book, the conceits of children’s art create a world with tragic consequences: a planet so small that individual plants and animals can drastically change the world itself, for good or ill. The tree at right resembles a baobab, the arboreal villain of The Little Prince‘s world. The two children are on a hill, or a world, with a curvature scarcely more gentle than the plate the piece is composed on, creating an arc like a lunar eclipse—another suggestion that the artist is playing with the cosmology of the image itself. It is, literally, a small world.
The actors in this microcosm are Jessica and Mike. On either side of their house, in the fishbowl world of the composition, they are a family of their own, and a happy one. Jessica, Mike, 1998 is a celebration of the positive side of the brother/sister relationship, sibling revelry if you will, and the two literally shout their happiness in a way rarely seen in an artist’s later works.