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Folks who stopped by Toronto's Zine Dream last week will remember seeing local artist Jesi The Elder near the entrance slinging her comics and hand-painted shirts, almost too nice to wear. But you don't have to worry about spilling curry all over her animated video for Toronto psych trio Absolutely Free's excellent new single "Beneath The Air." The 3500 individually painted frames (previously seen at an exhibit at Videofag) are stitched together into one gorgeous and psychedelic cycle of characters, like you're on the soaring journey of The Snowman's "Walking In The Air" sequence while having your face smooshed into the Screamadelica and Yes Please! covers. Yes, please.
-Chartattack August 2014
Break out the magic mushrooms and clear your schedule – we’ve got trippin’ to do. Above is the ‘whooaaa’-worthy music video for “Too Old To Die Young”, a cut from Timber Timbre’s Polaris-nominated album Creep On Creepin’ On. The clip was created by Toronto-based artist Jesi The Elder, who is no stranger to brain-melting animations. As one commenter notes, “vagina to sun transition. now I have seen it all”.
-the side b August 30th, 2011
A priori en consultant les oeuvres de Jesi The Elder on pourrait se croire dans une chambre d’enfant tant les gribouillages et les personnages tracés au crayon sont simplistes.
Mais justement l’univers du dessinateur est beaucoup plus sombre qu’il n’y parait à priori, il est en effet rempli de meurtres, de cadavres, de sang et autres bestioles inquiétantes et fantasmatiques. -Wizz Music 30 août 2011
This DDMMYYYY video is trippyyyy - A-Trak April 05th, 2009
"Jesi the Elder’s animated video for “Infinity Skull Cube,” the first single from DD/MM/YYYY’s brand new Black Square album, flashes across the bank of monitors on the far wall and I have a sneaking suspicion that a few minds are about to be melted. " -Eye Weekly March 03, 2009
"Sparkles, blow-up killer whales, dollar-store tealights, and religious paraphernalia came together in one mega-threatening exhibit. Surrounded by groupings of altars (of the table and wall-sconce variety), a projector screened a crudely animated mélange that garnered mixed reactions. For instance, when two whales jumped out of the water and crashed into each other, exploding into bits of flesh and floods of blood, the room LOL’d. But when two girls stabbed each other down their throats, blurting guffaws turned to nervous tittering." -MONDOmagazine May 15 2009
"Her brand of witty provocation kind of makes you feel like your looking at life through the eyes of an outrageously cool but messed up grade 4 student." -Much Music March 26th, 2009
"Speaking of dark arts, Jesi the Elder is an enigmatic presence in Toronto. The visual artist draws touchstones like meat, menorahs and dismembered limbs in bright candy-colours and childlike crudeness. These are often animated in the service of Toronto’s indie music scene; it’s a perfect fit in the case of music video The Butcher by Final Fantasy (aka Owen Pallett), a joyful song about a messianic songwriter’s frustration with religious doomsayers. ......Employing the same freakish abandon Jesi the Elder also did the music video for Katie Stelmanis’s infectious lesbian recruitment anthem “Join Us.” " - Xtra May 07, 2009
"Once, when I lived in Glasgow, I had a friend named Liz-e who lived just down the street. Liz-e's taste was legendary among her friends-nothing was too kitschy, crowded or colouful for her. She was also painfully quiet and shy, except when she was drunk, which was almost always. We all adored her. The website by Toronto artist Jesi the Elder, www.jesi.ca, reminds me very much of Liz-e: with an aesthetic so wildly and bafflingly its own, how do you not fall in love? Visitors are greeted with a pulsing brain flanked on either side by disembodied hands holding blood-red candles, while lightening flashes in the background. Why? I have no idea. Jesi's illustrations and videos (her latest project is for the band DDMMYYYY) are equally absurd—all bright colours and weird concepts, like one very sad Ninja Turtle standing alone in a snowglobe, holding a book whose cover reads, "Noel." You laugh, almost in spite of yourself. Her bio doesn't make any sense either. We learn: "Jesi started making art at an early age, molding...contour drawings of people she hated on pavement floors, in hopes that they would go lay there and die. She worked mostly in pastels." What the fuck does that mean? Don't know, but I see a lot of fancy Canadian art at my day job, and almost none of it is this much fun." -Broken Pencil January 8 2009
"Yesterday, Owen Pallet's Final Fantasy project released Spectrum, 14th Century, the first of the two new EPs he's got coming this fall. The video for lead track "The Butcher", by director Jesi the Elder, is both playful and slightly unnerving, as the brightly-colored imagery-- a mix of hand-drawn animation and live action-- moves from the innocent and childlike to the grotesque and and back again, with a religious theme threading throughout."- Pitchfork October 1, 2008